Sotheby’s in London will present a musket produced in the imperial workshops for the Qianlong Emperor of the Manchu Qing dynasty for auction in November.
The musket, which bears the imperial reign mark and the exceptional grading, “Supreme Grade, Number One”, is up for auction with an estimated price of HK$15.41 million.
While it is unlikely the Qianlong Emperor, who reigned from 1711-1799, used the musket in battle, he did hunt with a musket similar to the one Sotheby’s is auctioning off.
Imperial muskets were created in very small numbers by the Manufacture Department of the Imperial Household for the Qianlong Emperor.
For a Manchu emperor, a musket would have been an object of the utmost importance and pride, and the Emperor would have given meticulous instructions on how they should be created, repaired or modified.
The musket being offered for sale can be linked with a variety of imperial objects from the reign of the Qianlong Emperor, through its reign mark, decorative techniques and motifs.
The auction is being held on 9 November.
For more information, visit Sotheby’s website.