The insignia depicted is an egret, and the badge would have been for the wife of a 6th rank official. Rank badges of this period were often referred to as "pictures in silk" and this is a good example. The egret is standing on the rock gazing at the sun. The clouds massing around the sun, shown in five auspicious colours, are typical of this period. The rocky forms on which the bird is standing represent the earth. A waterfall is cascading down the rocks on the left hand side of the badge. A pine tree - symbol of longevity - is shown sprouting from the rock. The only other symbol shown is a bat - the symbol for good fortune.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, 17 April 2001
Place where the work was made
embroidery on silk satin
23.6 x 23.6 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of Judith Rutherford 2001
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
Celestial silks: Chinese religious & court textiles, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 31 Jul 2004–24 Oct 2004
Referenced in 4 publications
David Hugus, Ladder to the clouds, intrigue and tradition in Chinese rank, 'Evolution of Ch'ing Dynasty squares', pg. 215-290, Berkeley, 1999, 240 (colour illus.), 241. plate no. 15.022
Ann Macarthur, Inspirations - Art ideas for primary and middle years, Carlton South, 2004, cover (colour illus.), 9 (colour illus.). card 9
Tuyet Nguyet & Stephen Markbreiter, Arts of Asia, 'Collectors world: Helen Perrell and the Chinese badge', pg. 128-135, Hong Kong, Jul 1991-Aug 1991, 132 (colour illus.). Illustrated on the upper left corner of page 132.
Judith Rutherford and Jackie Menzies (Editors), Celestial silks: Chinese religious & court textiles, Sydney, 2004, 87, 89 (colour illus.). cat.no. 57