Insignia for the wife of a 5th rank civil official (silver pheasant) - ROM2008_9910_2

ROM2008_9910_2

Insignia for the wife of a 5th rank civil official (silver pheasant)

Medium:Silk tapestry with gold-wrapped thread and pigment
Geography: China
Date: 1800 – 1850
Period: Jiaqing (r. 1796-1820) or Daoguang (r. 1821-1850), Qing Dynasty
Dimensions:
29.5 x 30.5 cm
Object number: 950.100.80.A-C
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Sigmund Samuel
Not on view
DescriptionGold and silver pheasants come from the south and were once rare in northern China. Peaches and bats create a visual pun conveying wishes for long life and happiness. The imperial government relied on the services of thousands of civil servants to administer laws throughout the empire. This bureaucracy was divided into nine ranks, each represented by a bird. Appointments to the civil bureaucracy were determined by successfully passing three levels of examinations based on knowledge of the Confucian classics. These rigorous examinations required years of study. Appointment to the court brought entitlements and recognition, conferring prestige for the official’s entire family.
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