秦辟邪玉跪人紋橢圓座陽刻篆文皇后之印, 高.5cm, 長6cm, 寬2cm,165g。本器青白玉雕琢, 印鈕為辟邪獸, 體形雄偉, 象徵皇帝至尊, 背上跪伏者嬌小象徵皇后之玉女, 楚楚憐人。印座呈橢圓形, 印文為陽刻秦代小篆皇后之印。古玉之跡像如石灰沁, 冰裂紋,擴散暈沁色一一具備。刀工細膩工整, 線條流暢, 此皇后之印是已知中國歷史上第一個皇后之印, 堪稱國寶中的國寶。
Seal of Empress of the Chin Dynasty (B.C.221-B.C.206), Measurement: H.7.5cms, W.6cms.Depth 3.2cm, 165grams
The seal is composed of three parts: The imposing pixie symbolizing the emperor, the lady kneeling on the back of the pixie, symbolizing the empress, the oval stand for the scripts of the seal. The style of the scripts on this seal conforms to those of the Chin dynasty. Bronze seals ( around 2.2cm x 2.2cm) of the Palace Museum of Beijing ‘s collection. Especially the last stroke of the seal character of this seal confirms the typical lining of the Chin calligraphy( petite sigillaire 小篆 ) style, in particular, the character of 皇, conforms those found unearthed artifacts. The artifact consists of aging elements such as diffusive markings, deteriorate markings, cleaving veins, and differential weathering to prove its antiquity. Based on the carving and characters’ styles of the jade seal and its antiquity of evidence, this jade seal is authenticated as a genuine Seal of the Express from the Chin Dynasty.
The title of Emperor and Empress were first appearing in the Chin Dynasty. This is the first Seal of the Empress in Chinese history that makes this seal is an important artifact and its value is beyond description. According to History of the Former Han Dynasty(漢書), composed by Ban Gu(班固), First volume, List of High Ranking Officials of Royal Court(百官公卿表上): Zhan Shi詹事, Public official in the Chin Dynasty, Zhan Shi is responsible for the affairs of the empress and princes’ families. Beginning Learning Record《初學記》，compiled by Xu Jian(徐堅) in the Tang Dynasty, Volume 1 Inner Court Section (中宮部) Empress First (皇后第一) mentioned Chin had the title of Emperor, the first wife is called Empress. The Han Dynasty had followed this system. This is the historical record to prove that the Empress title first appeared in the Chin Dynasty and the present Seal of the Empress is the physical evidence to this historical record.
The medium has been tested with GIA Duplex II Refractometer, the refractive index is 1.61 spot reading. It is made of natural nephrite. The carving style of the mouth of the mythical animal is similar to that of the one of the Chin Dynasty. The low relief carving without openwork is unique which is different from the other periods(such as Shang and Han). In addition to the scientific evidence of antiquity, one-third of the object is fully calcified to form evidence which seasoned collectors should recognize its genuineness at a first glance( the one eye item in Chinese context). In terms of historical significance and rareness, the appraisal by taking the market approach, the Seal of Empress of the Chin Dynasty should be extremely valuable.
Provenance: Private collection, USA