Civilian Rank Badge Set, First Rank (Crane)
This civilian rank badge set was made in China in the 19th century. It is made out of silk and metallic thread.
Rank badges were worn on surcoats to identify an individual’s governmental standing. The badges were made in two halves so they could be placed on either side of a font-opening coat. Wives and children wore the rank badge of their father or husband. Different animals represented different ranks, and the way the animal was position often indicates if the badge was made for a man or woman.
These are the badges of a civilian official of the first rank. Both feature a left facing crane identified by a rounded head topped by a red cap, a long and smooth neck, a body which is covered by a scale-like design of feathers and tail feathers which are short, stubby and separated from each other. The cranes are perched atop rocks surrounded by celestial landscape and skies with auspicious symbols, cloud bands, and a solar disk.The design is executed with Peking stitched silk and couched metallic threads.
These two badges are identical, which means that one would have been put on the back of the official’s coat, and the other on the front. The badge on the front would have been divided in two to fit on both sides of the front opening of the surcoat.
Circa: 19th century
Material: Silk and metallic thread embroidery on silk ground
Condition: Some unravelling to couched metallic thread borders,stain on the back badge, good
Dimensions: 11" x 11"
Inventory number: TX3979