Chinese green jade seal makes $11.7m in Hong Kong

A Chinese Khotan green jade seal achieved $11.7m in Sotheby's Dragon Emperor sale in Hong Kong earlier today.

The piece was carved in 1796 to mark the end of the Qianlong emperor's reign and the coronation of his son, the Jianlong emperor.

Qianlong jade seal
The seal is one of 20 replicas made for the Qianlong emperor

It's one of 20 replicas of a large original seal (20cm across) that takes pride of place in the Beijing Palace Museum.

Qianlong once said: "After I have passed on the throne, I shall have the phrase 'Taishang Huangdi zhi Bao [Treasure of the Emperor Emeritus]' carved onto my best jade seal… to display the flourish and growth of the dynasty while I am the Emperor Supreme."

This is the second largest of the replicas, measuring 12cm across, and was actually used by the Qianlong emperor himself.

The auction took place as part of the October 2-5 Hong Kong Autumn Sale series, which included a wealth of treasures from across Chinese history.

The lots on offer ranged from pieces of contemporary ink art to elaborate Qing vases.

An important 18th century cinnabar lacquer guqin (a seven stringed instrument in the zither family), made for the Qianlong emperor, realised $7.1m.

Meanwhile an auction of contemporary art hosted by K-pop star T.O.P. saw Basquiat's Infantry hit $5.1m.

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