A highly important and exceptional imperial soapstone 'Qianlong yulan zhi bao' seal Qing dynasty, the 'lion' finial, Kangxi - early Yongzheng period, the seal face, Qianlong period | 清康熙至雍正初年 / 乾隆 乾隆帝御寶太獅少獅鈕壽山石璽 印文：乾隆御覽之寶
A highly important and exceptional imperial soapstone 'Qianlong yulan zhi bao' seal
Qing dynasty, the 'lion' finial, Kangxi - early Yongzheng period, the seal face, Qianlong period
清康熙至雍正初年 / 乾隆 乾隆帝御寶太獅少獅鈕壽山石璽 印文：乾隆御覽之寶
of square form, masterfully carved with utmost precision with three mythical beasts, the largest one boldly portrayed in the form of a crouching mythical feline powerfully crouching with its head turned towards the right, its eyes picked out and framed by eyebrows, jowls and a snout rendered in scrollwork, the muscular body flanked by a pair of wings and depicted with flaming wisps, further depicted with two smaller mythical beasts clambering on the rear haunches of the large beast, the seal face carved with a six-character inscription reading Qianlong yulan zhi bao ('Treasure admired by his Majesty the Qianlong Emperor')
7.8 by 7.8 by h. 10.7 cm
This superbly patinated seal is in excellent condition for its age and type. There are some old minor nicks and insignificant bruises, as well as light scratches typical for its material and usage. The inlays to the eyes of the lion are missing but the ink-dotted irises of the cubs are well preserved.
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. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Sotheby's London, 25th May 1965, lot 49.