At that time, the seals of his grandfather Kangxi are carefully preserved in the Imperial Palace. The few seals of Kangxi's predecessor Shunzhi, the founder of the Qing dynasty, were probably already lost. The Kangxi Baosou is therefore the starting point of this extraordinary catalogue. It consists of sheets 28 x 13.4 cm joined end to end for a total length of 5.65 m.
The inscriptions from 119 seals of the Kangxi emperor are here stamped in a great clarity with a crimson red ink. A pen transcription in usual writing is also offered in the vicinity of each mark. The document is protected in a luxurious binding including gildings and silk brocades.
Qianlong could not of course predict the catastrophic weakening of the Qing in the following century. Considering now that the seals have been scattered and many of them have not resurfaced, the Baosou are the irreplaceable and reliable sources for the authentication of the marks.
Two of the three original copies of the Kangxi Baosou survive. One of them is kept in the Palace Museum in Beijing. The other is for sale on April 6 by Sotheby's in Hong Kong, lot 3103.