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A CHINESE ANCESTOR PORTRAIT LATE MING DYNASTY, 16TH CENTURY

£ 10,000

Reference
1884
£10,000
Painted on silk, depicting a senior civil court official seated in red robes with cloud scrolls, the rank badge displaying double peacocks amongst peony, his left hand gripping his waist band, his right hand on his knee, behind him a side table with precious objects including a tripod ding incense burner and a garlic necked bottle vase with sprays of prunus and bamboo, in a modern gilt wood frame.

In the rank badge system, according to it's hierarchy, the peacock is a civil official of the primary third rank.

During the Ming dynasty both civil and military officials were divided into nine ranks, each rank was further subdivided into primary and secondary so there were technically eighteen ranks with the first rank primary being the highest and the ninth rank secondary being the lowest. Officials of the upper four ranks (first rank primary to fourth rank secondary) were entitled to wear the red robes, mid ranks (fifth rank primary to seventh rank secondary) to wear blue robes and the lower ranks (eighth rank primary to ninth rank secondary) to wear green robes. In addition, each exact rank was indicated by a picture of a unique animal (either real or legendary) sewn on a square-shaped patch on both the front and back of the robe so fellow officials could identify someone's rank from afar.

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Condition The image probably slightly reduced and later framed, some restoration otherwise good condition