Saturday, January 28, 2012

Chinese Rank Badge or Mandarin Square

I found this at a recent Estate Sale.  I had no idea what it was, I just thought the color and embroidery were beautiful. It turns out this could be a Chinese Rank Badge, or something associated with them.  Most of the Rank Badges have some type of animal, crane, dragon, etc.  I believe that is a bat in the top middle, but it is not listed as one of the rank animals.  Badges were also used for certain ceremonies and celebrations.  I am still researching, might have to purchase a book on these beautiful items.  I did find out the red circle being in the right corner means this would be worn by the wife, if it was in the left corner, it was worn on the males robes.

I have found out this is a Chinese Birthday Badge.  This badge would be worn on official birthdays, it is from the late Qing dynasty, 1890-1910. If you are interested it is available here.

1 comment:

  1. This is an unfinished woman's rank badge and would have an applique bird embroidered onto it. I am unsure as to its age but it looks 20th century to me. The bat, the flowers and the inverse "swastikas" are all just auspicious symbols and the rank bird would be standing on the rock/mountain in the middle.