Civilian Mandarin Rank Badge

Rank badges were worn by Chinese officials and their wives on ceremonial uniforms. They were worn on the front and back of the surcoat. They come in pairs; the front one is made of two parts to be sewn on either side of the front opening. Like other aspects of Chinese wear, these rank badges were highly regulated. Military officials’ ranks were indicated by beasts while civilian officials were identified by different birds. The animals are displayed against a celestial landscape, with skies usually filled with cloud bands.

This front facing civilian rank badge featured a Crane, symbol of the first rank civil and venerated for its wisdom, associated with advanced age. It is decorated with two-toned metallic thread in a couch and laid work technique. The solar disk is made of small coral beads.


Circa: 19th c.

Origin: China

Material: Metal thread embroidery on silk, coral beads

Condition: Excellent condition

Dimensions: 12" X 12"

Inventory number: TX4780



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