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Qing Dynasty Military Banner

Since the 17th century, the Qing dynasty has enrolled all military members in the Eight Banner System, according to their rank, social standing, and even ethnicity. The eight colors in order of precedence are plain yellow, yellow with a red border, plain white, white with a red border, plain red, red with a white border, plain blue, and blue with a red border. The three highest banners (yellow, yellow with a red border, and white) were commandeered directly by  the emperor, while all others  were under the command of Manchu princes. Beside the rank divide encoded in the banners they are also divided into ceremonial banners, which use metallic thread couching technique for the decoration , battle banners which use polychrome silk such as this one, and opera banners with lesser quality embroidery technique.

The decoration of Chinese banners usually features a dragon in pursuit of the pearl of wisdom with other motifs surrounding in a scatter design. The embroidery is double sided.



Circa: 19th century

Origin: China

Material: Silk

Condition: Some residual glue, good fragmentary condition

Dimensions: 41"x 49"

Inventory number: TX4951



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