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Lot 0300
with a Silver Pheasant. The Silver Pheasant was the insignia for a 5th rank official. This badge relates to the “hundred days of reform” in 1898, which depending on perception was either seen as a failed attempt to reform the imperial system in China or the commencement of a process that eventually led to reform. The iconography on the badges has a cloud filled sky, with the Silver Pheasant flying through the air with a great sense of freedom. Occasionally there would be other symbols incorporated into the clouds. The bird is facing the sun – there are two perceptions relating to the significance of the sun. Chinese mythology states that the sun is the symbol of Yang and also a symbol of the sovereign on earth. Sometimes a large red sun is placed before the gate of an official building, being typical of a pure and bright Yang principle. It also reminds the people working there the desirability of a pure and just administration. Another interpretation was that the bird gazing at the sun formed a rebus “Point at the sun and rise high” – with the sun representing the Emperor.

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Chinese 5th Rank Badge

Estimate A$400 - A$600Jun 4, 2017