The largest seal used by Chinese emperor Qianlong may potentially fetch a record-breaking HK$120 million at Sotheby’s 2016 autumn auction in the city as demand for artefacts of exceptional quality remains impervious to the economic downturn.
The imperial Khotan-green jade seal is expected to appeal to mainland buyers drawn to its symbolism as an object of status and power, with the auction house anticipating interest from new buyers alongside established antique collectors from across the region.
The seal celebrates the emperor’s final chapter of his long reign, and is the largest of its kind to exist in a private collection.
Inscribed with Chinese characters which mean “treasure of the Emperor Supreme”, the 1796 seal leads an auction taking place on October 5, offering 300 lots with a total estimate of HK$623 million.
“We have a constant influx of new buyers from China,” said Nicolas Chow, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Asia. He added that demand for Chinese art had grown significantly in the last two decades. A more recent emerging trend of Chinese collectors investing in western art had also not offset demand for Chinese artefacts, Chow said… see more