- Place of origin:
16th century (made)
- Materials and Techniques:
Silk tapestry (<i>kesi</i>) and metal-wrapped threads
- Museum number:
- Gallery location:
This Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) rank badge is woven in the kesi tapestry technique, where colours are only woven on where the pattern requires, resulting in small gaps between woven patterns, giving the appearance of cut designs. This badge would have been worn on an overcoat for the court by an officer of the sixth rank, as indicated by use of egrets as a motif.
Rank badge for a sixth-rank civil official showing a pair of egrets (lesser white herons). One bird stands in rippling water which, together with the polychrome rocks, forms the base of the picture. The other bird is in flight between cloud bands at the top. On each side of the centred birds is a large lotus plant in flower.
The badge is executed in tapestry weave (kesi). It is a weft-faced plain weave with white silk warps and polychrome silk and metal-wrapped wefts. The wefts are discontinuous in that they do not travel from selvedge to selvedge but in some places they are carried from one segment of design to another of the same colour, forming non-structural 'floats'. The reverse side of the badge is, therefore, apparent. In order to facilitate the pictorial effect of the design the wefts have been intentionally woven out of regular alignment with the warps so that they are no longer horizontal to the warps (eccentric wefts). There are also some eccentric outlining wefts. Adjacent areas of colour are ended with slit tapestry joins.
Place of Origin
16th century (made)
Materials and Techniques
Silk tapestry (kesi) and metal-wrapped threads
Height: 32 cm, Width: 35 cm
Object history note
Purchased. Registered File number 1985/1393.
Rank badge, tapestry weave silk and metal-wrapped thread with a design of birds and lotus, China, Ming dynasty, 16th century
Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)
Kerr, Rose (editor), Chinese Art and Design: The T. T. Tsui Gallery of Chinese Art, London: V&A Publications, 1991, p.20
Silk (textile); Metal thread
Clouds; Lotus; Rocks; Herons
Textiles; Clothing; Tapestry; Accessories; Formal wear; Politics