Abdication Edict of Emperor Qianlong
Item No. : 038285
A.D.1796, Qing dynasty
Height 79.6, width 223.7cm
In 1796, Emperor Qianlong abdicated and appointed the crown prince to succeed his throne. Qianglong was then honorifically titled by his son as Taishang Huang. This edict declared that both the seal of the Emperor and the seal of Taishang Huang were to be accepted as official government symbols. Clearly, Qianlong did not really step down and retire with his abdication, but instead, he maintained his grip on power with his new title, Taishang Huang. As this was also the last edict which Qianlong announced as the ruling emperor, this could also be considered as his “last testament”.