Antique Qing Dynasty Chinese Navy Blue Silk Embroidered Civilian Rank Badge in Gilt Frame
Gold thread or Cannetille used in the elaborate geometric border and as highlights throughout the image. The work is fine and beautifully done.
Rank badges (also called rank insignia or Mandarin squares) were used in China during the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties to demonstrate the wearer’s rank. During the Qing dynasty rank badge design was regulated, and certain creatures were associated with specific ranks - this one being a mythological bird/phoenix.
Qing badges depict a representation of the universe with a landscape and a central creature, surrounded by clouds and facing the sun. The sun, as can be seen in this piece, represented the emperor and this composition showed the official’s loyalty to him. Attached to the front and back of a ceremonial robe, rank badges were woven in pairs with identical imagery. One was divided vertically up the center to attach to the front of a robe with a centre opening.
This one is divided and therefore would have been worn in the front of the robe.
Presented in an understated elegant gilt frame under glass.
Condition is very good. Color is exceptional. Has some typical minor loss to threads in places.
19th Century and highly collectable.
Listed by East2West Furniture.
The badge is just over 11" square. Overall with the frame 14 1/4" x 15 1/4" x 5/8".