Badge for third rank civil official with two peacocks, peonies, clouds, and lingzhi fungus

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 1

Terms of Use

Usage Conditions Apply

At A Glance

  • Period

    probably 16th century
  • Geography

  • Material

    Silk tapestry (kesi): woven silk and metal-wrapped threads
  • Dimension

    H x W (image): 26.8 x 30.8 cm (10 9/16 x 12 1/8 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    This Badge depicts two peacocks--the peacock being the insignia for a Third Rank Civil Official (and by some accounts was also used for fourth-rank officials in the Ming). One peacock soars in flight and the other stands on a rock near water. Peony blossoms, symbolic of prosperity and honor, and a sprig "lingzhi, the so-called fungus of immortality, fill the middle ground. Auspicious, colored clouds appear at the top and bottom borders. The original red color of the peonies and cloud bands has faded to a mute, brownish tone.
  • Provenance

    To 1911
    Loon Gu-sai, Beijing, to 1911 [1]
    From 1911 to 1919
    Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Loon Gu-sai in 1911 [2]
    From 1920
    Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]
    [1] See Original Kakemono and Makimono List, L. 741, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. According to Ingrid Larsen, "'Don’t Send Ming or Later Pictures': Charles Lang Freer and the First Major Collection of Chinese Painting in an American Museum," Ars Orientalis vol. 40 (2011), Loon Gu Sai was possibly Lunguzhai, a store in the antiques district of Liulichang.
    [2] See note 1.
    [3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Nine Deaths, Two Births: Xu Bing's Phoenix Project (April 27 to September 2, 2013)
    Luxury and Luminosity: Visual Culture and the Ming Court (July 3, 2004 to June 26, 2005)
    On Becoming Immortal (May 9, 1993 to August 15, 1994)
    Chinese Art (May 9 to November 29, 1993)
    Chinese Bird and Flower Painting (January 27, 1986 to June 30, 1986)
    Chinese Art (January 1, 1963 to March 6, 1981)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Loon Gu Sai (C.L. Freer source)
    Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919)
  • Origin

  • Credit Line

    Gift of Charles Lang Freer
  • Type

    Costume and Textile
  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

    There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The National Museum of Asian Art welcomes information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Keep Exploring