• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2108

    The Imperial Wardrobe: Fine Chinese Costume And Textiles From The Linda Wrigglesworth Collection

    19 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 21

    A KESI GOLD-GROUND CIVIL OFFICIAL'S RANK BADGE OF AN EGRET, BUZI

    SECOND QUARTER 19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A KESI GOLD-GROUND CIVIL OFFICIAL'S RANK BADGE OF AN EGRET, BUZI
    SECOND QUARTER 19TH CENTURY
    Made for a sixth rank civil official and finely woven with the bird facing the sun as it alights on a blue rock emerging from rolling waves tossed with four of the bajixiang, flanked by narcissus and roses, the other four Buddhist emblems interspersed with bats amidst the surrounding clouds, all in shades of blue, green, pink, aubergine and red, with painted details, within a narrow border of gold and midnight-blue key fret
    11 3/8 x 11¾ in. (28.8 x 29.8 cm.)


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    Because of its white, clean feathers, the egret came to represent an incorruptible and honest official. Here, the egret is shown facing the sun, symbol of righteousness and promotion, while the cresting waves, or tide (chao) is a pun for 'court' (chao). The narcissus is associated with prosperity, while the rose, which blooms almost every month, is a pun for 'year-round'.

    By the Yongle period (1403-1424), the Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism (bajixiang) were not only Buddhist implements, but standard decoration to be found on cloisonné, porcelain and textiles made for the Palace. Their representation was believed to bring peace and blessings.

    Provenance

    Private collection, New Zealand.