Paris-based auction house Drouot was recently the host of an amazing sale on December 14, which was mainly focused on a very old, unique Chinese seal. The seal in question was sold for $22 million, which exceeded all estimations by about 20 times, thus becoming the most expensive seal ever to be traded in history. We don’t know who ended up buying it, but we do know that the item is made out of red and white steatite, and that it is adorned with nine dragons.
It looks like the seal belonged to Emperor Qianlong, which is one of the most famous rulers of the Qing dynasty. It was probably used by the emperor to sign various official records or items of value such as paintings. Interestingly enough, there are a series of markings beneath the seal that spell “Emperor Qianlong’s paint brush.”