Someone Bought the Most Expensive Emperor’s Imperial Seal for $22 Million

23 December 2016

This 18th Century Chinese Emperor’s Imperial Seal Sold for $22 Million

Someone paid $22 million for this 18th Century Chinese Emperor’s Imperial seal! Want to know more about it? Read more here!

You’ve already know that the auction houses are the best places to find the coolest objects. And of course, you need to pay a lot of money for them. The rarest the object are, the most expensive they get.

At this Parisian auction house named Drouot luck knocked at their door with its recent sale that took place on 14th December.

The true surprise of the auction was a unique Chinese seal that no one expected to break a record when it sold for $22 million dollars. It was 20 times more than the estimated price, which also become the most expensive seal to ever be traded in history.

The Chinese Emperor’s Imperial seal was bought by an unknown gentleman and we hope he gets to enjoy his little purchase.

The exotic stamp is made of red and white steatite, which is a type of mineral rock. On top of that it has nine beautifully designed dragons that symbolize masculinity and imperial authority.

According to the auction house, the seal belonged to Emperor Qianlong, one of the most famous rulers from the Qing dynasty.

This 18th Century Chinese Emperor’s Imperial Seal Sold for $22 Million

Furthermore, to understand why it was so expensive, the seal is part of a collection of 1800 stamps; out of which 700 disappeared over time and the remaining 1000 are conserved in the museum of the Forbidden City in Beijing.

Even though sales of Chinese cultural relics have been common in international auction houses, China still does not appreciate its national treasures being sold abroad.

In fact, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage was formed in 2010 with the sole purpose of retrieving stolen and illegally exported cultural relics “by any means necessary in accordance with international practices and the country’s laws.”

18th Century Chinese Emperor's Imperial seal
18th Century Chinese Emperor’s Imperial seal

Personally used by the emperor to sign his paintings and other official records, the seal’s price now is understandable.

It was purchased by a French naval doctor in the 19th century and remained with his family ever since.

On close scrutiny, the nine dragons that adorn it are seen hunting the sacred pearl – that is the Chinese symbol of immortality.

Apart from the powerful decorations that sit atop, the markings beneath the seal spell ‘Emperor Qianlong’s paint brush’, simply meaning everything that he had painted or written himself.

Even though they are the objects of such high esteem, Chinese historical and cultural relics usually have very shady origins. According to one analyst, 90% of antiques in the Chinese market are either fakes or state-level relics stolen by tomb raiders.

Would you pay $22 million for this 18th Century Chinese Emperor’s Imperial seal?