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Green Jade Seal with Empress Dowager Cixi’s Honorary Title and Entwined Dragon Knob

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Period: 20th year of the Guangxu reign (1894), Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Medium: Jade

The seal carved from green jade is surmounted by a knob in the form of two entwining dragons. The text on the seal face is carved in relief (or positively) in seal script.

On every important festive state occasion during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1644, 1644–1911), the emperor would bestow on the empress dowager an honorary title consisting of complimentary words and present a seal carved with the title and a document authenticating the conferring of the title. The face of this seal is carved with twenty-one characters, of which the long title of Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908) takes up sixteen characters. It was bestowed on the empress dowager on her sixtieth birthday in 1894 (the twentieth year of the Guangxu period, 1875-1908); this was her full honorary title. No additional title was given to her thenceforth. 

Website version edited by Zhuang Ying and Adam J. Ensign

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