In the face of the Western Eight Power Allied forces advancing on Beijing news spread quickly to the Forbidden city. Dowager Cixi quickly got ready to flee with the Emperor Guangxu and a group of followers all in an extreme panic.
They dressed as civilians hoping to go unnoticed as they fled Beijing to head West. The Emperor Guangxu did not want to leave the Forbidden City, he wished to remain dressed in his court clothes and confront the foreigners, this caused a huge conflict with Cixi.
In a rush to pack as much as she could Dowager Cixi knew she would not be able to take all of her jewels and antiques, but did not wish to leave them for the foreigners to get their hands on.
Cixi ordered all her jewels and antiques she could not take with her to be thrown into a deep well located within the Forbidden City.
As it turned out Li Hongzhang negotiated with foreigners and Cixi was able to return from her journey Westwards, however the jewels and antiques that had been thrown down the well were never salvaged.
To this day the antiques and jewels still remain at the bottom of the well and no one is allowed to try and salvage any of the Dowagers items.
Read the story about Irv Graham and the cracked cup that was bought for £300 and later sold for £28,000. A cup that led to an adventure in China filled with amazing highs and life-threatening lows and the rebirth of 贵宾酒8. V.I.P Jiu 8 – The full story.