A musket made for the Qianlong emperor (1711-1799) sold for £1.9m ($2.4m) at Sotheby's on November 9.
The piece is exquisitely crafted from elm wood and iron, inlaid with gold and silver patterns based on Zhou dynasty (1046-246 BC) bronze vessels.
It's the best of seven such muskets made for the emperor.
Robert Bradlow, senior director of Chinese works of art at Sotheby's, explained: "This remarkable object epitomises the pinnacle of imperial craftsmanship during the Qing dynasty.
"The gun's historical importance cannot be overstated - it ranks as one of the most significant Chinese treasures ever to come to auction."
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