Seated High Official with Rank Badge
Item No. 19413
19th - 20th Century, Taoist / Popular Religions, China
Lacquer over Wood with Polychrome and Gilt
14.5" x 8" x 7"
( 36.83 x 20.32 x 17.78 cm)
(H x W x D)
This seated figure wears several items indicating his rank as a high official, including his long flowing red robe with high green collar adorned with gold carved floral designs. Centered in the collar is a lotus pod with many seeds, a symbol of “may you have many offspring.” He wears the belt of office which is placed above and below his ample belly, cloth boots and a high black hat, all indications of his rank. Even his stance, with his right hand in a fist resting on the right knee and his left with slender long fingers curved around the knee are signs of wealth and status. His robe has a carved rank badge with a gold border and a crane, indicating that the is an offical of the first and highest rank. During the Ch’ing Dynasty rank badges were smaller than during the Ming period, with decorative border such as this. The sign of a bird indicates that the image is a civilian rather than a military official.
The image is finely carved with the drapery on the sleeves, shoulders and over the knees finely executed with deep folds emphasizing the portly body underneath. The full face is has ample cheeks, puckered lips rounded chin, angular nose, elongated ears and is covered in gold paint to echo the gold details of the collar and the square.. The rich and vivid pigmentation of the robes continues over the rear of the figure. The original backless chair upon which he once was seated is now missing.
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