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Posthumous Seal of Taizu of Qing

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First year of the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty (1736)

Made with white jade. A total height of 13.5 cm. A seal surface of 13.8 cm long and wide. A seal pad of 5 cm thick.

The upper part is a single-body crouching dragon knob with gold tracery, and a bright yellow silk rope is tied in the knob hole. The crimson inscriptions on the posthumous seal are written in Machu and Mandarin Chinese. On the left are six lines in regular script in Manchu while on the right are four lines in seal script in Mandarin Chinese. The inscriptions read “Seal of Emperor Taizu, Inheriting the Mandate of Heaven to Carry Vast Fortunes and Divine Virtues, Initiate the Dynasty’s Chronology, and Set the Most Exemplary Model, Manifesting His Benevolence, Filial Piety, Wisdom, Martial Attainment, Dignity, and Perseverance to Enable Stability, Promote the Culture, and Settle the Imperial Undertaking.” Wrapped by bright yellow gold-thread embroidered leather with flower and dark cloud patterns, the posthumous seal is stored in double-layered gold-lacquered box sets with dragon and phoenix patterns. In 1785, during the reign of Emperor Qianlong, the seal was sent from Beijing to be collected with reverence in the Mukden Temple of Imperial Ancestors. During the period of the Republic of China, it was collected in the Chongmo Pavilion of the Shenyang Imperial Palace.