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Seal of the Emperor - View 1

The Palace Museum

The Palace Museum
Beijing, China

Made of sandalwood, the seal features a large knob in the form of a crouching dragon. The base is square, while the bottom features both Chinese characters and Manchu words in the seal script. The Qianlong Emperor personally listed this seal as one of twenty-five of his cherished seals. It is the only wooden seal among those select seals. According to The Catalogue of Seals of the Hall of Union (Jiaotai dian baopu), this seal symbolizes the concept of "Conducting with Solemnity" (Yi su fajia). The emperor took this seal on each imperial hunt and every visit to the Garden of Perfect Brightness (Yuanming yuan) and the summer mountain-villa of Jehol. According to a statistical analysis of the usage of the twenty-five treasured seals, this seal was used most frequently and for the broadest of purposes. It was used on the imperial decrees for enthronement, the appointment of empresses, the imperial wedding, announcing successful candidates in the palace examinations, and other important events. The seal is an important symbol of the imperial power of the Qing and contains great historical value.

full view of the item

Details

  • Title: Seal of the Emperor - View 1
  • Physical Dimensions: base: 15.5×15.5 cm, overall height: 16.6 cm, knob height: 11 cm
  • Provenance: Qing imperial collection
  • Type: seals
  • Medium: sandalwood,with attached yellow tassels
  • Dynasty: Early Qing dynasty (1644-1911)

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