Insignia for the wife of a 6th rank civil official (egret) - ROM2008_9901_15

ROM2008_9901_15

Insignia for the wife of a 6th rank civil official (egret)

Medium:Satin embroidered in silk and gold thread
Geography: China
Date: early 19th century
Period: Jiaqing (r. 1796-1820) or Daoguang (r. 1821-1850), Qing Dynasty
Dimensions:
29 x 29 cm
Object number: 950.100.220
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Sigmund Samuel
Not on view
DescriptionThe brilliant white feathers of the egret stand out against its forest habitat and defy sullying by muddy river water. Its white coat is also auspicious, suggesting great age and honour. 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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