An exceptional imperial tanxiangmu 'Jingtian Qinmin' seal Qing dynasty, Kangxi period | 清康熙 康熙帝御寶檀香木異獸鈕方璽 印文：敬天勤民
Property from an Important Private Asian Collection 重要亞洲私人收藏
Property from an Important Private Asian Collection
An exceptional imperial tanxiangmu 'Jingtian Qinmin' seal
Qing dynasty, Kangxi period
清康熙 康熙帝御寶檀香木異獸鈕方璽 印文：敬天勤民
of square section with thick sides, surmounted by a recumbent mythical beast resting imposingly on the entirety of the seal top, its mighty body with rounded shoulders and haunches defined with stylised scrolls above its four-toed paw feet, the rear right one placed atop the right side, the body bordered with an undulating border dramatised with billowy ribs, the beast portrayed with an elongated equine head with a slightly upturned snout and eyes shaped like water chestnuts centred with small pupils, flanked by a pair of furled ears, the forehead accentuated with a subtly ridged long horn extending along the back of the head and terminating with a small curl to the right, furcated locks of mane depicted silhouetting the curled horn and falling neatly to the sides, the sides pierced through the centre with an aperture to thread a tassel, the seal face deeply carved with technical precision with the characters Jingtian qinmin (‘Revere Heaven and serve thy people'), the wood of an attractive rich caramel-brown colour
10.2 by 10.2 by h. 11 cm
The seal is preserved in excellent condition with just faint typical age cracks and insignificant wear to the corners of the seal face, as would be expected. The inner pith of the tanxiang trunk was utilised to achieve the exceptional size, resulting in a naturally occurring approx. 3 by 1.5 cm cavity above the front right paw, visible in the catalogue photo.
品相極佳，僅有些隨歲月而生之細裂紋，以此年代之檀香木而言，乃正常現象，印面角沿且有輕微磨損。 此璽尺寸碩大，取材自檀香樹最寬之處，木材珍貴，毫厘盡採，是以連作儲存及運輸養份用之木髓也雕用之。異獸右前足之天然木髓小洞稍為外延至約 3 x 1.5 公分（圖錄可見）。
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Sotheby's Hong Kong, 6th April 2016, lot 3101.