Seal of Cherishing the Virtuous and Loving the People - View 1

The Palace Museum

The Palace Museum
Beijing, China

This seal is fashioned from stone quarried in the Shoushan area of Fujian Province. The square base is topped with two beasts, while the bottom features characters in the seal script. Carved in the first year of the Yongzheng reign (1723), the seal was conceived of by the Prince of Yi in the first month of that year when he allocated a red stone quarried from the Shoushan area for its creation. According to workshop archives of the Qing Imperial Household Department, the inscription was to read "Cherish the Virtuous, Love the People (Qin xian ai min). The inscription was completed on the eighth day of the fourth lunar month, and a fine box was crafted in which to store the seal. The inscription represents a principle with which the Yongzheng Emperor often admonished himself. He believed in the need to esteem the ancients and respectfully treat his subjects as a basis for his administrative policy. This principle was especially important during the Manchu's campaign for territorial unification. The inscription harmonizes with the idea of respecting Heaven and following the ways of the ancestors.

full view of the item


  • Title: Seal of Cherishing the Virtuous and Loving the People - View 1
  • Physical Dimensions: base: 6.6×6.6 cm, overall height: 9.2 cm, knob height: 4.5 cm
  • Provenance: Qing imperial collection
  • Type: seals
  • Medium: shoushan stone
  • Dynasty: Yongzheng reign (1723-1735), Qing dynasty (1644-1911)

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