a_rare_pair_of_brocade_gold_ground_civil_officials_rank_badges_of_a_pe_d5477059h

 A Rare Pair Of Brocade Gold-Ground Civil Official's Rank Badges of a Peacock, Buzi. Late 17th-Early 18th century. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2010

Made for a civil official of the third rank and finely woven with a peacock (kongque) with spread wings and tail facing the sun and surrounded by ruyi-shaped clouds as it stands on one leg on a pierced rock emerging from a band of rolling waves tossed with 'precious objects', all in shades of blue, coral red, and turquoise reserved on a gold ground, all within a double blue line border; 10 7/8 in. x 12 in. (27.6 x 30.5 cm.), mounted, lucite frame (2). Estimate $30,000 - $40,000

Provenance: Myrna Myers, Paris.

Notes: Rank badges of this type woven in brocade with a gold ground appear to be quite rare. A stylistically similar badge made for a military official of the fourth rank, woven in brocade with a lion on a gold ground, and dated to the Yongzheng period, is illustrated in the exhibition catalogue, Power Dressing: Textiles for Rulers and Priests from the Chris Hall Collection, Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore, 2006, no. 67. The rendering of the waves, rocks and clouds is quite similar on the two, as is the woven gold ground.

The use of badges applied to the front and back of court robes to indicate rank was instituted during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and continued through the Qing dynasty (1644-1911). While Ming dynasty badges were displayed on the court robe, Qing dynasty badges were moved to an outer garment, or surcoat.

a_very_rare_pair_of_embroidered_gauze_military_officials_rank_badges_o_d5477063h

 A Very Rare Pair Of Embroidered Gauze Military Official's Rank Badges of Panthers, Buzi. Early 18th century. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2010

Made for a sixth rank military official, finely embroidered in counted stitch on a dark blue gauze ground with a panther (biao) standing between two upright rock formations surrounded by clouds, above a lishui stripe, and all within a cloud border, in muted shades of ivory, beige, blue, pale green, pale gold and pale russet, within an outer border of couched gold key fret; 9¾ in. x 10 in. (24.8 x 25.4 cm.), mounted, lucite frames (2). Estimate $25,000 - $35,000

Provenance: Linda Wrigglesworth, London.

a_seed_pearl_embroidered_dark_blue_silk_civil_officials_rank_badge_of_d5477066h

 A Seed Pearl-Embroidered Dark Blue Silk Civil Official's Rank Badge of a Peacock, Buzi. Late 18th-19th century. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2010

Made for a civil official of the third rank, unusually embroidered with seed pearls on the body and spread wings of the peacock (kongque) shown facing the sun as it stands on one leg atop a rock emerging from froth-capped waves tossed with 'precious objects,' flanked by a fruiting peach and narcissus to one side and peony and lingzhi to the other, and surrounded by the wufu and lingzhi-shaped clouds, all satin-stitched in muted shades of blue, coral, yellow and white, within a key-fret border of couched gold thread; 12 x 12½ in. (30.5 x 31.8 cm.), mounted, lucite frame. Estimate $12,000 - $18,000

Provenance: Linda Wrigglesworth, London.

Literature: L. Wrigglesworth, The Badge of Rank, London, 1990, p. 39.

a_rare_seed_pearl_embroidered_satin_civil_officials_rank_badge_of_a_cr_d5477058h

A Rare Seed Pearl-Embroidered Satin Civil Official's Rank Badge of a Crane, Buzi. Mid-19th century. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2010

Made for a civil official of the first rank and finely worked in satin stitch and seed stitch, the seed pearl-embroidered crane (xianhe), shown facing the sun as it stands on a rock emerging from breaking waves tossed with 'precious objects' and bordered below by lingzhi-shaped clouds, flanked by peaches to one side and roses and lingzhi to the other, and surrounded by the wufu in flight amidst further clouds, all picked out in muted shades of blue, coral, grey, white and black, and couched gold thread, within an outer border of couched gold thread key fret; 12 in. (30.5 cm.) square, mounted, lucite frame. Estimate $10,000 - $15,000

Provenance: Linda Wrigglesworth, London.

Notes: A crane rank badge with similar embroidery, color scheme and design, as well as the use of seed-pearls to highlight the body, dated to the Daoguang period, is illustrated by L. Wrigglesworth, The Badge of Rank III, London, 1996, p. 23.

a_pair_of_embroidered_dark_blue_silk_civil_officials_rank_badges_of_pe_d5477065h

 A Pair Of Embroidered Dark Blue Silk Civil Official's Rank Badges of Peacocks, Buzi. 19th century. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2010

Each made for a civil official of the third rank and elaborately worked in Peking knot, the bird (kongque) shown looking at the sun as it stands on one leg atop a rock emerging from rolling waves tossed with Buddhist emblems and surrounded by leafy branches of peaches and roses as well as the wufu in flight amidst ruyi-shaped clouds, all picked out in shades of blue, green, coral, yellow and white, and outlined in couched gold thread, all within a lotus spray and angular scroll border; 11¾ x 12½ in. (29.8 x 31.7 cm.), mounted, lucite frames (2). Estimate $10,000 - $15,000 

a_rare_pair_of_kesi_military_officials_rank_badges_of_a_lion_buzi_19th_d5477073h

A Rare Pair Of Kesi Military Official's Rank Badges of a Lion, Buzi. 19th century. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2010

Made for a military official of the second rank, finely woven with a blue lion (shizi) looking at the sun as it stands on a rock emerging from waves tossed with 'precious objects' above a band of ruyi-shaped clouds and a lishui stripe, and surrounded by the wufu and Buddhist and Daoist emblems amidst further lingzhi-shaped clouds reserved against a diaper ground, with some details in Peking knot, all in shades of blue, green, purple, red, pink, white and pale coral, and couched gold thread, within an outer border of shou characters and bats in three tones of gold; 11 7/8 x 12 3/8 in. (30.2 x 31.5 cm.), mounted, lucite frames (2). Estimate $8,000 - $12,000

Provenance: Linda Wrigglesworth, London.

a_pair_of_embroidered_civil_officials_rank_badges_of_paradise_flycatch_d5477076h

 A Pair of Embroidered Civil Official's Rank Badges of Paradise Flycatchers, Buzi. 19th Century. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2010

Made for a civil official of the ninth rank and worked in satin stitch and couched gold thread, the white, long-tailed bird (lanque) shown facing the sun as it stands on one leg atop a rock emerging from waves above a broad gold stripe, and surrounded by the bajixiang (Eight Buddhist Emblems) and the wufu amidst lingzhi-shaped clouds, within a border of flower scroll, all picked out in shades of blue, coral, white, green and yellow, and outlined in couched gold thread; 11 3/8 x 11 5/8 in. (29 x 29.5 cm.), mounted, lucite frames (2). Estimate $8,000 - $12,000

Provenance: Linda Wrigglesworth, London.an_embroidered_civil_officials_rank_badge_of_a_golden_pheasant_buzi_19_d5477062h

An Embroidered Civil Official's Rank Badge of a Golden Pheasant, Buzi. 19th century. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2010

Made for a civil official of the second rank, worked in satin stitch and couched gold thread, the long-tailed, multi-colored bird (jinji) shown facing the sun while standing on a rock emerging from rolling waves above a two-color gold lishui stripe and surrounded by the bajixiang (Eight Buddhist Emblems) and the wufu amidst ruyi-shaped clouds, all picked out in shades of blue, green, pale coral, yellow, white, black and magenta, within a flower scroll border; 11 5/8 in. x 12 cm. (29.5 and 30.5 cm.), mounted, lucite frame. Estimate $6,000 - $10,000

Provenance: Linda Wrigglesworth, London.

an_embroidered_satin_xiezhi_rank_badge_buzi_19th_century_d5477071h

 An Embroidered Satin Xiezhi Rank Badge, Buzi. 19th century. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2010

Made for a censor, and finely worked in satin stitch and Peking knot with a mythical beast (xiezhi) with white body and greenish mane shown looking up at the sun while standing atop wind-tossed rolling waves interspersed with 'precious objects,' with rocks at either side and surrounded by lotus scroll and lingzhi-shaped clouds repeated below the waves, all picked out in shades of blue, coral, yellow and white, and couched gold thread within a border of bats and shou characters; 11 x 11¾ in. (28 x 29.8 cm.), mounted, lucite frame. Estimate $6,000 - $10,000

Provenance: Linda Wrigglesworth, London.

a_pair_of_embroidered_satin_civil_officials_rank_badges_of_quail_buzi_d5477069h

 A Pair of Embroidered Satin Civil Official's Rank Badges of Quail, Buzi. 19th Century. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2010

Made for a civil official of the eighth rank and worked in satin stitch and couched gold thread, the bird (anchun) with mustard-yellow body shown facing the sun as it stands on a rock emerging from a band of rolling waves, clouds and a multicolored lishui stripe, flanked by peaches to one side and peony to the other and surrounded by Buddhist emblems and the wufu amidst ruyi-shaped clouds reserved on a ground of dense gold scrollwork, all picked out in shades of blue, mustard yellow, green, white, purple and pale peach, within an outer border of flower scroll alternating with Daoist emblems, 'precious objects' and bats at the corners; 11 7/8 x 11¾ in. (30.2 x 29.9 cm.), mounted, lucite frames (2). Estimate $6,000 - $8,000

a_pair_of_kesi_civil_officials_rank_badges_of_a_goose_buzi_19th_centur_d5477067h

 A Pair Of Kesi Civil Official's Rank Badges of a Goose, Buzi. 19th century. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2010

Made for a civil official of the fourth rank, the bird (yunyan) facing the sun as it stands on one leg atop a rock emerging from rolling waves tossed with the bajixiang above a lishui stripe, flanked by flowers issuing from rocks and surrounded by four Daoist emblems and three of the wufu while the other two are in the upper border of ruyi-shaped clouds, all reserved on a ground of gold wan diaper and picked out in subtle shades of blue, white, yellow, and coral, with painted black details, within a border of conjoined wan characters; 11½ x 12¼ in. (29.2 x 31 cm.), mounted, lucite frames (2). Estimate $5,000 - $7,000

Provenance: Jacqueline Simcox, London.

an_embroidered_satin_xiezhi_rank_badge_buzi_19th_century_d5477075h

An Embroidered Satin Xiezhi Rank Badge, Buzi. 19th century. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2010

Made for a censor and worked in satin stitch and couched gold thread with a mythical beast (xiezhi) with white body, single horn, and green mane and bushy tail, looking at the sun as it stands on a rock emerging from rolling waves above a lishui stripe, surrounded by the wufu and Buddhist emblems amidst clouds, all picked out in shades of blue, white, coral and purple, within a border of lotus scroll; 12¼ x 12 in. (31 x 30.5 cm.), mounted, lucite frame. Estimate $5,000 - $7,000

Provenance: Valery M. Garrett Collection.
Linda Wrigglesworth, London.

Notes: Worn as the rank insignia of government censors, whose duties required them to root out corruption, the xiezhi served as a symbol of imperial justice.

an_embroidered_satin_circular_womans_rank_badge_of_a_crane_19th_centur_d5477068h

 An Embroidered Satin Circular Woman's Rank Badge of a Crane. 19th century. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2010

Made for the wife of a civil official of the first rank, finely worked in fine couched gold and silver thread and satin stitch with the crane (xianhe) facing the sun as it stands on a rock emerging from rolling waves tossed with 'precious objects' above a gold and silver lishui stripe, flanked by flowers and lingzhi growing from rocks and surrounded by Daoist emblems and the wufu suspending ribbon-tied wan emblems amidst ruyi-shaped clouds, the crane's poll and the sun stitched with coral-colored beads and the beak and legs in pale blue-green thread, with further details in white and magenta, all within a border of bats alternating with shou characters; 12 in. (30.5 cm.) diam., mounted, lucite frame. Estimate $5,000 - $7,000

Provenance: Valery M. Garrett Collection.
Linda Wrigglesworth, London.

an_embroidered_military_officials_rank_badge_of_a_lion_buzi_19th_centu_d5477072h

 An Embroidered Military Official's Rank Badge of a Lion, Buzi. 19th century. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2010

Made for a second rank military official, the gold-couched lion (shizi) shown looking at the sun as it stands on a rock emerging from rolling waves interspersed with 'precious objects', flanked by flowers and lingzhi growing from further rocks and surrounded by Buddhist and Daoist emblems floating amidst lingzhi-shaped clouds, all in counted stitch in shades of blue, green, coral, green, yellow, purple and white, and three colors of couched gold thread, within a border of shou characters and bats; 13¼ x 13 5/8 in. (33.6 x 34.6 cm.), mounted, lucite frame. Estimate $4,000 - $6,000

Provenance: Judith Rutherford.

an_embroidered_satin_civil_officials_rank_badge_of_a_peacock_buzi_19th_d5477064h

 An Embroidered Satin Civil Official's Rank Badge of a Peacock, Buzi. 19th century. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2010

Made for a civil official of the third rank and worked in satin stitch, the peacock (kongque) shown looking at the sun as it stands on a rock emerging from breaking waves tossed with 'precious objects,' flanked by flowers and lingzhi sprouting from rocks and surrounded by ruyi-shaped clouds and two bats, all picked out in shades of blue, coral, yellow, white and grey, within a border of couched gold thread key fret; 11½ x 11 5/8 in. (29.2 x 29.5 cm.), mounted, lucite frame. Estimate $4,000 - $6,000

Provenance: Linda Wrigglesworth, London.

an_embroidered_gauze_civil_officials_rank_badge_of_a_goose_buzi_19th_c_d5477070h

 An Embroidered Gauze Civil Official's Rank Badge of a goose, Buzi. 19th century. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2010

Made for a civil official of the fourth rank and embroidered in brick stitch with the white bird (yunyan) facing the sun as it stands on a rock emerging from waves above a two-color gold lishui stripe, flanked by flowers and surrounded by the bajixiang (Eight Buddhist Emblems) arranged amidst ruyi-shaped clouds, all in shades of blue, white and black, and outlined in couched gold thread, within a lotus scroll border; 11 5/8 x 12¼ in. (29.5 x 31 cm.), mounted, lucite frame. Estimate $2,000 - $3,000

Provenance: Valery M. Garrett Collection.
Linda Wrigglesworth, London.

Literature: V. Garrett, Chinese Dress from the Qing Dynasty to the Present, Tokyo/Vermont/Singapore, 2007, fig. 134, p. 76.

Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Part I & II,  15 - 16 September 2011. New York, Rockefeller Plazza www.christies.com