View full screen - View 1 of Lot 3802. An imperial catalogue of the twenty-five cardinal seals of the Qing Empire Qing dynasty, Qianlong period | 清乾隆 御製國朝二十五寶皇史宬本《寶譜》.
3802

An imperial catalogue of the twenty-five cardinal seals of the Qing Empire Qing dynasty, Qianlong period | 清乾隆 御製國朝二十五寶皇史宬本《寶譜》

3801

3802

An imperial catalogue of the twenty-five cardinal seals of the Qing Empire Qing dynasty, Qianlong period | 清乾隆 御製國朝二十五寶皇史宬本《寶譜》

An imperial catalogue of the twenty-five cardinal seals of the Qing Empire Qing dynasty, Qianlong period | 清乾隆 御製國朝二十五寶皇史宬本《寶譜》

An imperial catalogue of the twenty-five cardinal seals of the Qing Empire

Qing dynasty, Qianlong period

清乾隆 御製國朝二十五寶皇史宬本《寶譜》


the book with a title slip reading Baopu (seal catalogue) and zhu Huangshicheng (preserved in the Imperial Archive), inscribed neatly in Manchu and Han Chinese with two imperial prefaces written by the Qianlong Emperor, dated to the 11th and the 13th year respectively (1746 and 1748), followed by the impressions and descriptions of the 25 cardinal seals of the empire, the original Qing court brocade box cover with the same title

overall 38 by 31 by 2.6 cm

Together with its original case, this important seal catalogue is in overall very good condition with the pages well preserved. The toggles of the case are missing. There are fraying to the silk, foxing, old stains and discolouration, as well as very minor creases to the paper corners, all consistent with its material and age. 


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.

Acquired prior to 1970.


1970年前入藏

The catalogue of seal impressions is neatly bound and enveloped in yellow satin. The title slip on the cover bears Zhu Huangshicheng (preserved in the Imperial Archive), indicating its original location at the Southeast of the Forbidden City, stored together with other important Ming and Qing official documents. The catalogue unfolds with two prefaces in Manchu and Chinese composed by Emperor Qianlong, dated to the 11th and the 13th year respectively (1746 and 1748), followed by the impressions of 25 cardinal seals of the empire.


The preface indicates that “Da Qing huidian [Collected statutes of the Qing dynasty] records 29 imperial seals, whereas the Hall of Union has 39. It further specifies six held in the palace and 23 sitting in the court inventory; however, that they are at the Hall of Union attests to the falseness in both number and location. Passed down from emperors to emperors, imperial seals are heirlooms of the realm and inscribed on the invocational scripts for state and court rituals; thus, the record is preposterous.” It is evident that seals in the early Qing period were subject to duplicated making, disordered inscribing and mistaken recording. Imperial seals symbolise sovereignty and testify the vicissitudes of dynasties; Emperor Qianlong restudied such emblems of previous reigns and confirmed a selection of 25, to be kept at the Hall of Union. Written in the 11th year of Qianlong (1746), the preface has entered the Siku Quanshu [Complete Library in Four Sections] in volumes of Qing shi gao [Draft history of Qing], Guochao gong shi [History of the Qing court] and Qinding Da Qing huidian [Imperially Endorsed Collected Statutes of the Qing Dynasty], serving as important literature for the studies of Qing history. The original copy of the catalogue is now in the First Historical Archives of China.


With great diligence applied to the material, dimension and decoration, the 25 seals are carved all in Manchu and Chinese except one, rendered in Manchu only. In sequence, they are Da Qing shouming zhi bao (‘The Great Qing dynasty seal of the Mandate of Heaven’), Huangdi fengtian zhi bao (‘Seal of the emperor granted with the Mandate of Heaven’), Da Qing si Tianzi bao (‘Treasure of the succession of the Son of Heaven’), two Huangdi zhi bao (‘Seal of the emperor’), Tianzi zhi bao (‘Seal of the Son of Heaven’), Huangdi zunqin zhi bao (‘Emperor’s seal of respect for parents’), Huangdi qinqin zhi bao (‘Emperor’s seal of respect for imperial family’), Huangdi xing bao (‘Seal of the benevolent administration of the emperor’), Huangdi xin bao (‘Seal of prestige of the emperor’), Tianzi xing bao (‘Seal of prestige of the Son of Heaven’), Tianzi xin bao (‘Seal of prestige of the Son of Heaven’), Jingtian qinmin zhi bao (‘Seal of revering Heaven and serving thy people’), Zhigao zhi bao (‘Seal of instruction’), Chiming zhi bao (‘Seal of administrative order’), Chuixun zhi bao (‘Seal of propagating moral standards’), Ming de zhi bao (‘Seal of honouring virtuous people’), Qinwen zhi xi (‘Seal of valuing literature’), Biaozhang jingshi zhi bao (‘Seal of esteeming classical books and historical records’), Xunshou tianxia zhi bao (‘Seal of imperial inspection of the realm’), Taozui anmin zhi bao (‘Seal of punishment and peace’), Zhiyu liushi zhi bao (‘Seal of control of the national forces’), Chizheng wanbang zhi bao (‘Seal of pronouncement for foreign states’), Chizheng wanmin zhi bao (‘Seal of proclamation for the people’) and Guangyun zhi bao (‘Seal of the grand destiny’). Deliberately encased and preserved in the Hall of Union, the seals were in the custody of the cabinet, as stated in the preface, “by the Mandate of Heaven, our dynasty adopts the ancient tradition to make seals. Seals are administered by the cabinet and safekept by a eunuch official. They are carefully encased and placed on finely lacquered tables; housed in the Hall of Union, they are arranged from left to right. The use of them is at the request of the cabinet.”


Qianlong’s preface also reveals that “based on scrutiny, I have designated 25 to accord with the count of heavenly numbers,” which derives from Dayan [The great expansion] in Zhou Yi [Book of changes], “the total of heavenly numbers is 25.” Another remark suggests that Emperor Qianlong wished the dynastic succession to last for 25 generations, with the aspiration of emulating the unparalleled sublimity of the Zhou dynasty.


寶譜黃綾殼面,外加黃綾套。題籤上書:貯皇史宬,可悉其原藏紫禁城東南隅之皇家檔案庫,與其他明清重要史冊共存。寶譜前部為乾隆親撰滿、漢雙語寶譜序兩篇,文末分別署「乾隆十有一年歲在丙寅春日御製」及「乾隆十有三年歲在戊辰春日御製」,後隨二十五寶璽印譜。  


序曰:「嚐考《大清會典》載御寶二十有九,今交泰殿所貯三十有九。《會典》又云,宮內所貯者六,內庫收貯者二十有三,今則皆貯交泰殿,數與地皆失實。至謂皇帝奉天之寶即傳國璽,兩郊大祀及聖節宮中告天青詞用之,此語尤誕謬。」可見清初章刻重複、鈐用混亂、記載失實。御璽象徵皇權,更是皇朝更替的信物,乾隆皇帝對前朝御寶重新考證排次,考定二十五寶制,藏交泰殿。寶譜序成於乾隆十一年,四庫全書《清史稿》、《國朝宮史》、《欽定大清會典》等部均有記載,為研究清朝歷史文的重要文獻。原貯交泰殿寶譜現藏中國第一歷史檔案館。 


「清二十五寶」除一枚皇帝之寶刻滿文外,其餘均為滿漢雙語,並注材質、尺寸及紋飾。依次為:大清受命之寶、皇帝奉天之寶、大清嗣天子寶、皇帝之寶二方、天子之寶、皇帝尊親之寶、皇帝親親之寶、皇帝行寶、皇帝信寶、天子行寶、天子信寶、敬天勤民之寶、制誥之寶、敕命之寶、垂訓之寶、命德之寶、欽文之璽、表章經史之寶、巡狩天下之寶、討罪安民之寶、制馭六師之寶、敕正萬邦之寶、敕正萬民之寶、廣運之寶。寶璽被俸存於交泰殿的寶盝之內,由內閣掌管,如寶譜序云:「國朝受天命,采古制為璽。掌以內閣,承收以宮殿監正。襲以重盝,承以髹几。設交泰殿中,以次左右列。當用則內閣請而用之。」 


乾隆序曰:「爰加考正排次,定為二十有五,以符天數。」取《周易》大衍:「天數二十有五」之義。亦有說乾隆根據歷史,要像周朝一樣輝煌,綿延二十五代。