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Pair of rank badges for a 1st or 2nd rank official - crane, Viet Nam, Nguyen dynasty, 19th century; embroidered silk, couched gold thread, 25.5 x 23.5 cm. Gift of Judith and Ken Rutherford 2006, 300.2006.a-b. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (C) Art Gallery of NewSouth Wales, Sydney

This pair of badges has faded considerably. The outline of the crane holding a peach in the mouth is clearly visible and was said to symbolise immortality. The crane insignia was awarded to 1st and 2nd rank civil officials. The peach branch also symbolised a successful scholar as it was one of the items the Emperor of Viet Nam presented to successful candidates in the imperial examinations. Five classic stylised waves frame the bottom section of the badges with delicately executed floral forms in the background. The border is couched gold thread in a key fret design.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, August 2006