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A KESI CIVIL OFFICIAL'S RANK BADGE OF A MANDARIN DUCK, BUZI
MID-19TH CENTURY
Made for a civil official of the seventh rank, the bird shown facing the sun as it alights on a rock emerging from froth-capped waves tossed with four of the Eight Buddhist Emblems (bajixiang) above a lishui stripe, surrounded by ruyi-shaped clouds interspersed with the wufu and the other four Buddhist Emblems reserved on a ground of scrolling tendrils in gold-wrapped thread, all in shades of blue, coral, green and white, with painted details, within a border of gold foliate scroll
11¼ x 12¼ in. (28.5 x 31 cm.)

Lot Essay

The seventh rank included the post of District Magistrate, the most important official with whom the vast majority of ordinary Chinese people would have any dealings.
Two very similar badges from the collection of Judith Rutherford are illustrated by B. Jackson and D. Hughes, Ph.D., Ladder to the Clouds, Berkeley, 1999, p. 269.

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