On 29 April at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, a highly important and magnificent soapstone seal carved for the Qianlong Emperor, prominently impressed on many of the greatest national treasures of China, was sold for HK$153,334,000 / US$19,540,885 to an Asian private collector after a 10-minute bidding battle, setting the highest price for any seal ever sold at auction in Asia. This seal is also the most expensive seal sold at Sotheby’s surpassing the imperial inscribed white jade 'Ji’entang' seal from the Qianlong period sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in spring 2021 for HK$145,691,000 / US$ 18,770,828. The most iconic among all seals destined for art connoisseurship, this superb imperial seal is the highlight of the Hong Kong chapter of the Dr Wou Kiuan Collection, a series of four single-owner sales held globally throughout 2022. Please refer to pre-sale release for more information.
I will never forget seeing this seal sit on a shelf and turning it over for the first time when we visited the Wou collection in 2011, over 10 years ago - it was like an electric shock. I had seen the ghost of that seal so many times on so many of the most important paintings in the world. It was a privilege to find a new home for this exceptionally important historical object.
Gems of Imperial Porcelain from the Private Collection of Joseph Lau achieved a white-glove sale with a sales total of HK$ 113,014,000 / US$ 14,402,504.