Lot 4031. A very rare civil official's rank badge of a silver pheasant, buzi, Kangxi period (1662-1722); 11 x 11 in. (28 x 28 cm)Estimate 200,000 - HKD 300,000. Price realised HKD 250,000© Christie's Images Ltd 2012.  

Made for a fifth rank civil official, the pheasant is a symbol of literary elegance. The fanciful bird is finely worked in white satin stitch alighting on a rock emerging from waves in which jewels are tossed. The pheasant is surrounded by ruyi-shaped clouds and the sun finely worked in satin stitch in shades of blue, green, brown and coral, all reserved on a dense ground of couched gold threads, mounted.

Provenance: Linda Wrigglesworth, London.

NoteA similar badge was sold at Christie's New York, The Imperial Wardrobe, Fine Chinese Costume and Textiles from the Linda Wrigglesworth Collection, 19 March 2008, lot 28.

It is interesting to note that the gold-wrapped thread is couched in an irregular pattern to better catch the light in movement when worn.

Christie's. The Imperial Sale,  Hong Kong, 30 May 2012