A rare pair of gold and silver embroidered civil official's rank badges of egrets, buzi, early Qing dynasty, 18th century 

Lot 2151. A rare pair of gold and silver embroidered civil official's rank badges of egrets, buzi, Qing dynasty, 18th century; 9 1/2 in. (24 cm.) square. Estimate HKD 50,000 - HKD 70,000Price realised HKD 87,500© Christie's Images Ltd 2013

Made for a civil official of the sixth rank, each is similarly worked primarily in gold and silver wrapped thread on a blue gauze ground with the bird shown facing the sun as it alights on a rock. The birds are flanked by a pair of lingzhi picked out in iron-red silk floss, above a sea of rolling and swirling waves, and between rocky cliffs supporting pine, bamboo and floral sprigs embroidered in tones of green and brown, below swirling ruyi-shaped clouds each framed by a simple double line border, mounted and framed (2).

Note: The basket weave technique of couched gold thread used to represent the earth on these badges is of particular note, and is quite unusual.  

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