April 29, 02:30 AM GMT
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
Sotheby's London, 25th May 1965, lot 49.