A seal of the Chinese emperor Kangxi sold at auction in the southern French city Toulouse for 4.7 million Euros (USD 7.2 million), a world record price for such an object, the sale`s organisers said on Saturday.
It is a world record for a seal and a European record for a Chinese object. It was bought by an unnamed buyer or buyers from China bidding by telephone.
The three kilogram (six-and-a-half pound) beige soapstone seal was one of 130 personal seals used by the emperor Kangxi, who ruled between 1662 and 1722.
Bearing six red calligraphic figures along with two dragons frolicking in the clouds, the seal is 14 centimetres long and 10 centimetres wide.
Kangxi’s 61-year-rule makes him the longest-reigning Chinese emperor in history and one of the longest in the world. Emperors of China, their families and officials used large seals usually made of jade, although hard woods and precious metals could sometimes be used.
What made the seal especially rare was that it was found in its original ivory-and-lacquer box and the fact that it was unusually large.
This seal were found in the closet of a wealthy Toulouse family who were not aware of either its use or value. It had long disappeared from China but is now finally destined to return to its homeland !