At Sotheby's Hong Kong on Thursday, a small cylinder of jade went under the hammer - and sold for HK$95.86m (US$12.4m), setting a world record for any white jade item or imperial seal at auction.
The piece was from the reign of China's longest serving Emperor - Qianlong of the Qing dynasty. The lettering on the side reads as a poem, concluding with the phrase Qianlong Bingchen chun yubi, which indicates 1796.
The seal's face itself has the characters tai shang huang di sharply carved into it, meaning Treasure of the Emperor Emeritus.
The price, bought by an anonymous Asian man in his thirties, doubled that which was paid for the piece in 2007, in accordance with the general rise in value of rare and valuable Chinese collectibles in recent times.
A pearl necklace which the Emperor Yongzheng may have owned trounced its top estimate of HK$12m in the same sale, selling for HK$67.9m
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