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 second rank. The badge features a golden pheasant facing to the left against a sky with cloud bands, bats, auspicious symbols, and a solar disk. The golden pheasant is easily identified by the crested head and the two long tail feathers with serrated edges, flanked by four smaller sharp feathers. The main field is surrounded by a border of alternating longevity symbols and bats. The entire piece is couched  with silver and gold metallic threads on silk. The silk thread used to tack down the metallic thread is polychromatic, adding a muted pop of color to the piece.

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

Circa: 19th century

Origin: China

Material: Silk and Metallic Thread

Condition: Excellent

Dimensions: 11" x 11"

Inventory number: TX5155



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