Under the highly regulated sumptuary laws of the Qing dynasty, which were first established under the Ming, the crane insignia emblazoned on the surcoat clearly identifies a first-ranking official of the Qing Court. This same crane motif appears on an illustration of a surcoat, or bufu, signifying that of a first-ranking civil official, and is included in a set of woodblock prints known as the Huangchao liqi tushi, 'Illustrated Precedents for the Ritual Paraphernalia of the Imperial Court'. A copy of this publication is in the Victoria and Albert Museum collection, from whence the surcoat with a crane insignia, is published by D. Dicksinson and L. Wrigglesworth, Imperial Wardrobe, Hong Kong, 1990, p. 126, pl. 107.
It is also interesting to note the red beaded finial attached to the winter hat probably represents a glass bead or ruby, thereby reinforcing the suggestion that the sitter is a first-rank official or a prince. For a list of hat beads denoting official ranks see, J. Rutherford, 'Celestial Silks, Chinese Religious and Court Textiles', Arts of Asia, vol. 34, July-August 2004, p. 43.