View full screen - View 1 of Lot 33. A rare Khotan-green jade 'dragon' seal with the posthumous title of the Empress Renxiao Qing dynasty, Jiaqing period | 清嘉慶 和闐青玉交龍鈕仁孝皇后尊諡寶璽.
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A rare Khotan-green jade 'dragon' seal with the posthumous title of the Empress Renxiao Qing dynasty, Jiaqing period | 清嘉慶 和闐青玉交龍鈕仁孝皇后尊諡寶璽

Property of a Swiss Collector

A rare Khotan-green jade 'dragon' seal with the posthumous title of the Empress Renxiao Qing dynasty, Jiaqing period | 清嘉慶 和闐青玉交龍鈕仁孝皇后尊諡寶璽

A rare Khotan-green jade 'dragon' seal with the posthumous title of the Empress Renxiao Qing dynasty, Jiaqing period | 清嘉慶 和闐青玉交龍鈕仁孝皇后尊諡寶璽

Property of a Swiss Collector

A rare Khotan-green jade 'dragon' seal with the posthumous title of the Empress Renxiao

Qing dynasty, Jiaqing period

清嘉慶 和闐青玉交龍鈕仁孝皇后尊諡寶璽


the seal face carved with a twenty-one character inscription in seal script reading Xiaocheng gongsu zhenghui anhe shuyi kemin litian xiangsheng ren huanghou zhi bao ('The Treasure of Express Xiaochengren [her posthumous title bestowed by the Qianlong emperor]'), followed by a Manchurian inscription

9.5 by 13 by 13 cm, 3⅝ by 5⅛ by 5⅛ in.

The four corners of the seal are chipped, particularly the lower corners. Fritting along the four sides of the seal. Small nicks to the raised part of the dragon, the horns of both dragons appear to have been polished on the top. The stone a dark green with greyish tones and natural inclusions throughout.


中文內容僅供參考,請以英文原版為準。四角均可見磕痕,於下方四角尤爲明顯。側面均有少許磨損,通體邊角有少許細磕。龍角或經輕微打磨。玉石另有少許天然綹紋。


"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."


我們很高興為您提供上述拍品狀況報告。由於敝公司非專業修復人員,在此敦促您向其他專業修復人員索取諮詢,以獲得更詳盡、專業之報告。


準買家應該檢查每款拍品以確認其狀況,蘇富比所作的任何陳述均為專業主觀看法而非事實陳述。準買家應參考有關該拍賣的重要通知(見圖錄)。


雖然本狀況報告或有針對某拍品之討論,但所有拍賣品均根據印於圖錄內之業務規則以拍賣時狀況出售。

This seal belongs to a special group of seals known as yibao, or posthumous seals. Such seals were not created to be used during the lifetimes of emperors and empresses but rather were produced after their deaths as part of the system of ancestral temples and posthumous naming in China. The present was created in the early 19th century for the first wife of the Kangxi Emperor, Empress Xiaochengren, who tragically died after giving birth to her second son, Yingren, at the age of twenty.

In Chinese history, the worship and posthumous naming of emperors and empresses were an important component of court rules governed by explicit and strict regulations. Posthumous imperial seals were an essential category of artefacts created to be included in these rituals. In general, a posthumous title contained ten laudatory terms for a total of twenty Chinese characters. Usually twelve characters in length initially, an empress’s posthumous title typically beginning with xiao [filialness], continuing with a series of eulogising phrase, and ending with the temple name of her emperor. An emperor newly ascended to the throne was to add one or two laudatory phrases to the previous emperors and empresses. Seeing the potential for these titles to become unwieldy and confusing, the Qianlong emperor issued an edict upon ascending the throne that additions were only to be made within reason. By the Jiaqing reign, it was decided that titles would not be further lengthened and the meanings and lengths of imperial posthumous titles were standardised.

In the forty-fifth year of the Qianlong reign (1780), the emperor decreed that a new set of posthumous imperial jade seals be made and dedicated at the Ancestral Temple in Beijing, and that the old ones would be dedicated at the Ancestral Temple in Shengjing. The old posthumous imperial seals had been made on an ad hoc basis and thus were of different colours and qualities; thus the new set would be of the same size and form, with finials in the shape of dragons and crafted uniformly from Khotan jade. By 1782 these sixteen new seals were completed and dedicated by the Qianlong Emperor at the Ancestral Temple. The following year, he ordered Yonglang, Prince Yi, and others to send the sixteen old jade albums and seals to the Ancestral Temple in Shengjing, thereby beginning the practice of maintaining two sets of imperial jade albums and seals between the former and current capitals. When a new emperor added to his predecessors’ posthumous titles, officials and craftspeople would be tasked with recarving. As of the fourteenth year of the Guangxu reign (1888), when posthumous seals were sent to Shengjing for the last time, the Ancestral Temple in Shengjing housed a total of thirty-two posthumous imperial seals, and that in Beijing housed a total of forty, including those of emperors from Zhaozu Yuanhuangdi to Tongzhi.

In the chaos of the early twentieth century, the forty seals in Beijing were lost and dispersed around the world, one of which is believed to be the present seal. In the second year of the Xuantong reign (1910), the Qing court remade these seals, which are now mostly in the collection of the Palace Museum in Beijing. Due to time constraints and financial difficulties faced by the court, these later creations were of considerably lower-quality craftsmanship than the originals.

A seal inscribed with the posthumous title of the Qianlong Emperor, produced in the Jiaqing period, held in the Shenyang Palace, is published in Shenyang gugong bowuguan can jingpin daxi. Gongting yiwu juan [Compendium of Collection in the Shenyang Palace Museum: Relics of the Qing Court Collection], Shenyang, 2017, pl. 14, together with closely related posthumous seals for the Jiaqing, Xianfeng and Tongzhi and Guangxu Emperors made in their succeeding reigns, ibid., pls 15-18.