Two seals belonging to the Qianlong Emperor, with fitted stands and decorated box

Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, Qianlong reign, ca. 1780
Medium
Seals: jade; stand: wood, possibly zitan; box: wood, possibly zitan, with semiprecious stone, mother-of-pearl, silver, and gold inlay
Dimensions
H x Diam (a: seal): 3.6 x 3.8 cm (1 7/16 x 1 1/2 in) H x Diam (c:seal): 3.4 × 3.5 cm (1 5/16 × 1 3/8 in) H x W x D (e & f:assembled): 9 × 13 × 7.8 cm (3 9/16 × 5 1/8 × 3 1/16 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Anonymous gift
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1978.51a-f
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Jade, Tool and Equipment
Type

Seals

Keywords
China, dragon, emperor, Qianlong reign (1736 - 1796), Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), seal script, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance research underway.
Label

These seals, which belonged to the Qianlong emperor (reigned 1736-1795), read respectively: "heavenly ability" and "rare achievement to reach seventy years old." Seals, which can bear personal names or commendatory phrases, are symbols of ownership and authority as well as aesthetic objects, and their carving constitutes a special branch of calligraphy.  In use a seal is pressed into a vermillion paste and then stamped onto paper or silk to leave bright red impressions of the characters. The box bears several poems by Qianlong, which he composed in different years. One concerns his receipt of the seals; another, which appears on the front of the box, is about tiger hunting and relates to the design on the top of the box.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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