What do wax Customs Export Approval seals or “Jian Ding” on Chinese items really mean? Does it guarantee the piece is an antique? The answer, of course, is not simple. Jian Ding have been used since about 1949 to approve items for export. Anything made before 1949 is considered a “cultural relic” and cannot be taken out of the country without a government seal and/or an officially chopped receipt. As well, in China nothing can be legally purchased from a government antique shop that dates from Qianlong’s reign or before (i.e. before 1795). That means any piece with this seal should be post 1795 but could be absolutely modern. The important criteria is that the item is not considered a cultural relic/ treasure. This one appeared on a Tang style Sancai pottery horse.