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2005.5.559.1 - Front Panel of a Rank Badge for a Fourth Rank Military Official

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Object Typerank badge Artistunknown Date Made1875-1908

Item Details

Object Typerank badge Artistunknown Date Made1875-1908
Accession Number 2005.5.559.1 Title Front Panel of a Rank Badge for a Fourth Rank Military Official Category textiles Object Type rank badge Artist unknown Date Made 1875-1908 Place Made China Culture Chinese Period Qing 19th-20th centuries Materials gold wrapped silk thread; silk; silk satin; silver wrapped silk thread; embroidery Materials Glossary Embroidery View Materials Glossary Details » Description
Rank badges, always made in pairs, were placed on the front and back of surcoats in order to communicate their wearer’s rank during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing dynasties (1644-1911). Different motifs were…
Rank badges, always made in pairs, were placed on the front and back of surcoats in order to communicate their wearer’s rank during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing dynasties (1644-1911). Different motifs were regulated by the imperial court, including bird motifs used only for civil officials while beasts were used for military officials. The hierarchy of ranks within these categories was represented by specific birds and beasts. This pair of rank badges features a tiger embroidered in metal-wrapped threads, which represents a fourth rank military official. The tiger is identified by its black stripes and a wan symbol on its forehead, indicating the tiger is a king.

The front badge is made into two separate panels to accommodate the front opening of a surcoat, while the back badge is made in one piece. The patterns on the front and back badges are identical. The embroidery on this badge is rendered entirely in metal-wrapped threads of varying hues, all expertly couched in place with silk floss. The border contains bats and shou characters, which all act as lucky symbols for the wearer. The tiger is positioned in the middle of the badge, above rocks and standing water waves and surrounded by a sky filled with clouds and lotus flowers. The position of the sun on the right side of the badge indicates that the wearer was a woman, likely the spouse of a military official. The tiger is appliquéd onto the badge background so that it may be easily replaced with other beasts as the military official moves up through the ranks.

Credit Line Gift of Sandy and Cécile Mactaggart
© 2019 University of Alberta
© 2019 University of Alberta

Citation

Page Citation for 2005.5.559.1 - Front Panel of a Rank Badge for a Fourth Rank Military Official

Page Citation

"2005.5.559.1 - Front Panel of a Rank Badge for a Fourth Rank Military Official, Mactaggart Art Collection." University of Alberta Museums Search Site, https://search.museums.ualberta.ca/21-20642. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.


Object Hierarchy

2005.5.559.1 - Front Panel of a Rank Badge for a Fourth Rank Military Official

Object Type Artist Date Made