A rare pair of brocade 'Crane' rank badges, buzi, early Qing dynasty, 17th century 

Lot 2150. A rare pair of brocade 'Crane' rank badges, buzi, early Qing dynasty, 17th century; 16 in. (41 cm.) square. Estimate HKD 120,000 - HKD 180,000Price realised HKD 237,500© Christie's Images Ltd 2013

The badges were made for a first rank civil official. The bird is worked in white satin stitch alighting on a rock emerging from dark blue waves. The crane is surrounded byruyi-shaped clouds below the sun, all in shades of blue, green and brown, all reserved on a dense ground of couched gold threads, mounted and framed (2).

Note: The crane was thought to live for over 200 years and stored its accumulated wisdom in its red 'cap'. This is probably why the emblem of this bird was used for the emperor's closest advisors. 

Christie's. Imperial Sale; Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Hong Kong, HKCEC Grand Hall, 29 May 2013