A superb pair of jadeite imperial seals. Qing dynasty, Jiaqing period. photo courtesy Sotheby's

each of square form, surmounted by a superbly carved pair of addorsed dragons, each with bulging eyes and flaring nostrils above curling whiskers and a partially open mouth revealing sharp fangs, the scales and flowing mane defined by fine incisions, the two bodies intertwined and crouching low on the haunches, pierced through the centre with an aperture, one seal deeply and crisply carved with the characters Jiaqing yulan zhibao ('Appreciation of His Majesty Jiaqing'), the other similarly carved with the characters Jiaqing yubi zhibao ('In the Imperial Hand of Jiaqing'), both stones of bright apple-green tone with patches of white; 7 cm., 2 3/4 in. Estimate 8,000,000—12,000,000 HKD. Lot Sold 79,060,000 HKD

PROVENANCE: Sotheby's New York, 12th April 1984, lot 110.

Sotheby's. An Important Private Collection of Qing Historical Works of Art, 07 Oct 10, Hong Kong www.sothebys.com