The 15th day of the 7th month of the third year of the reign, August 22, 1725 in our calendar, the eunuch commissions two white jade seals for the same inscription along with their boxes. Five days later a bronze prototype of the inscription is submitted to an inspection.
Both jade seals are completed in the next month, nine days apart one another. This great speed of execution is explained by the fact that the workshops had re-carved two ancient seals that the emperor himself had probably chosen in the imperial collection before issuing his order.
The smaller of the two seals, 5.5 x 5.6 cm, carved with a dragon in Yuan style, was sold for HK $ 35,4M including premium by Sotheby's on October 5, 2011.
The other seal, reworked from a Kangxi figure, is larger and more ambitious. 7.4 cm high on a square base 6.1 x 6.1 cm, it has the form of a rock on which a hornless dragon or chilong is reclining with a wide open mouth in a threatening attitude. The rock is flanked by eight other chi moving amidst clouds.
This seal is offered with its luxurious original box inlaid in ivory. It is estimated HK $ 30M for sale by Sotheby's in Hong Kong on April 7, lot 102.
Both seals discussed above are exceptional. Although Yongzheng has ordered more than two hundred seals during his short reign, only five have been made in jade.