On 8 October 2008 Sotheby's sold imperial seals from the personal collection of Emile Guimet who also had been the founder of a major Asian art museum in Paris. The star lot of the sale was a Qianlong white jade seal of large size, 12.5 x 12.5 cm, that sold for HK $ 63M including premium in line with the estimate.
The surprise came at lot 2007 from a smaller Qianlong jade seal that sold for HK $ 37M including premium over a lower estimate of $ 5 MHK.
This little wonder, 7.5 x 7.5 x 5.5 cm, continued its career on the art market. On 4 June 2010, it was sold for RMB yuan 56M including premium by Poly in Beijing. It was later sold for RMB yuan 67M including premium on May 12, 2013 by China Guardian, lot 3108.
The theme with two entwined dragons symbolizing the power and cleverness of the emperor is classic but the sharpness of the jade carving is exceptional, with a special care to the facial expression and the whiskers of the dragons. The polishing of flat surfaces is perfect.
Commissioned by the emperor for the festivities of his 80th birthday in the 54th year of his reign, 1790 in our calendar, it is a Zi Qiang Bu Xi, promoting self-reliance and perseverance of the emperor in the creation of progress and by that way taking care not to fall into the indolence of old age before leaving the power.