Civillian Rank Badge

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, or whole if they were going to be put on the back of the coat. Wives and children wore the rank badge of their father or husband, only facing the opposite direction so when standing next to the 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.

This is the badge of a civilian official of the first rank – which was reserved for the sons of an emperor. The crane is perched atop rocks surrounded by celestial landscape and skies with auspicious symbols, cloud bands, and a sun. The design is executed with satin stitched peach silk and couched metallic threads.

This badge would have been applied to the back of a surcoat.

Circa: 18th century

Origin: China

Material: Silk

Condition: Very Good, some fading


Inventory number: TX5178



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