Chinese Jade Dragon Seal
S O L D
Chinese Jade Dragon Seal. Square shape, the dragon-shaped button, all four sides with gold calligraphy and characters of xiaozhuan and in Manchu, the stamp on one side with four-character mark in the Emperor Qianlong, the face bearing Chinese characters in writing zhuanshu stylized zhi yu liu zhi bao (under the control of the army). The top of the box is decorated with an archaic dragon.
Dimension: 100 x 100 x 106(mm)
Weight: 2520 g.
Compare almost the same jade seal, Christie’s Paris, 14 December 2011, lot number 242 sold for € 10000,- With buyer’s premium total € 12 500,- Without box. Copy of the catalogue see photo 11.
Top quality, a perfect piece.
* Chinese jade dragon seal
At the death of the second Emperor of Qin, his successor Ziying proffered the seal to the new emperor of the Han Dynasty, whereafter it was known as the “Han Heirloom Seal of the Realm”. At the end of the Western Han Dynasty in 9 CE, Wang Mang, the new ruler, forced the Han empress dowager to hand over the Seal. The empress dowager, in anger, threw the Seal on the ground, chipping one corner. Later, Wang Mang ordered the corner to be restored with gold.
This seal passed on even as dynasties rose and fell. It was seen as a legitimizing device, signalling the Mandate of Heaven. During turbulent periods, such as the Three Kingdoms period, the seal became the object of rivalry and armed conflict. Regimes which possessed the seal declared themselves, and are often historically regarded, as legitimate. At the end of the Han Dynasty in the 3rd century AD, General Sun Jian found the Imperial Seal when his forces occupied the evacuated Han imperial capital Luoyang, in the sequence of the campaign against Dong Zhuo, giving it to his chief, warlord Yuan Shu.
Yuan Shu then declared himself emperor under the short-lived Zhong dynasty in 197. This act angered the warlords Cao Cao and Liu Bei, leading to several crushing defeats by each army. The other warlords, even after being issued with an imperial decree, refused to help Cao Cao and Liu Bei in defeating Yuan Shu. When Yuan Shu was defeated in 199 by Liu Bei, the Seal came into the hands of Cao Cao, whose son Cao Pi proclaimed the Wei Dynasty as the legitimate successor state to Han, in 220, in response to the established states of Shu Han and Eastern Wu. The Seal remained in the hands of Wei Dynasty emperors until the last emperor Cao Huan was forced to abdicate in Sima Yan’s favor, passing the Seal from Cao to Sima and establishing the Jin dynasty in 265.
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