Lot 190 in our auction of Asian Art on Friday 14 May is a rare collection of Chinese rank badges from the Yuan Shikai period (late 1915 to early 1916).
Each roundel is embroidered with the symbols of sovereignty, including the fu surrounded by libation cups, fire, a constellation, a dragon, a mountain, a pheasant, an axe or a waterweed, amongst clouds against a black satin ground.
After he became the first President of the Chinese Republic in 1912, Yuan Shikai had a desire to emulate the old Imperial ranking system. These roundels were made to be worn by officials during the traditional seasonal sacrifices he reinstated. The lower the status of the official, the fewer roundels on his robe, and the fewer traditional symbols of Imperial authority included in the roundel, with twelve being the highest number for roundels and symbols.
The collection of four badges, each glazed and framed, is estimated for sale at £600 - £800
A photograph of Yuan's court practice ritual ceremony on 23rd of December, 1914, shows the officials wearing court robes in similar rank badges.
Asian Art - Friday 14 May
Sworders is once again proud to be sponsoring an evening of musical entertainment in a beautiful garden setting in Much Hadham.
Highlighted amongst the lots in our July Design sale are drawings by George Daniels (1854-1940) - perhaps the most accomplished British stained glass designer working in the late Gothic and early Renaissance idiom from the 1890s until the Second World War - including designs for an impressive five-light window in the north aisle of Manchester Cathedral and extant stained glass windows in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk churches.
Sworders are delighted to be hosting a timed auction of objects, events, and experiences on behalf of Beds & Herts Historic Churches Trust to aid the charity's fundraising for the restoration and repair of churches and chapels in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, and parts of Barnet.