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Lot 238. A rare embroidered 'double-geese' badge, 17th century; 36cm (14 1/8in) x 36.3cm (14 2/8in). Sold for £ 14,000/€ 16,780 (Estimate £4,000 - £6,000). © Bonhams 2001-2022

The badge for a Fourth-Rank civil official colourfully embroidered with a pair of confronted geese, the lower one standing on prism-like rocks issuing from rolling waves embroidered in silk floss using long stitches and couched threads, all amidst ruyi clouds worked in red, blue, green, yellow and pink, further embellished at the centre with gold thread, the edges raised over an under-thread to convey a three-dimensional effect, all on a ground of dark blue silk with a twisted thread for a matt effect, mounted.

Provenance: Linda Wrigglesworth, London
A distinguished Belgian private collection.

Note: The present badge was part of a large group comprising over thirty similar silk badges, mainly representing lions, silver pheasants and egrets, once sewn into a large curtain or canopy, in Palazzo Corsini, Florence.

The bold design of the present badge, with large lozenge-shaped clouds and prism-like rocks, reflects aesthetic developments during the later Ming dynasty.

During the 17th century, under pressure from the Manchu to institute their own style of Court attire, the shape of the buzi or insignia badges became more exactly square. This example shows a fine thread original border.

A similarly-embroidered silk 'double silver pheasants' badge, 16th/17th century, is illustrated by J.Vollmer, Silks For Thrones and Altars: Chinese Costumes and Textiles from the Liao Through the Qing Dynasty, Paris, 2003, no.11, pp.36-37.

Two related silk Court 'double pheasant' rank badges, 17th century, were sold at Bonhams London, respectively on 7 November 2019, lot 126, and 13 May 2021, lot 79.

Bonhams. Fine Chinese Art Including Imperial and Court Textiles Curated by Linda Wrigglesworth, London, New Bond Street, 2 Nov 2021