Jade scepter set to fetch up to $13 million at auction

This white jade scepter could fetch up to $13 million

when it goes under the hammer at Sotheby's

Location: Hong Kong

The rare ruyi scepter belonged to Emperor Qianlong of the Qing dynasty

who ruled China some 250 years ago

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CHAIRMAN OF SOTHEBY’S ASIA, NICOLAS CHOW, SAYING:

"Throughout the history of the world, scepters have been great symbols of authority and power for royals, whether it was in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Roman Empire or France in the 18th century. Now, this is the finest imperial scepter ever made for the Chinese emperor. It was made for emperor Qianlong, who wrote a poem about this piece when it was presented to him in 1772."

The Chinese decorative object symbolizes good fortune

and enjoyed a special status in Qing court culture

It had a wide range of uses

as gifts, decoration, and entertainment

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