textile; rank insignia; Mandarin square

A mandarin square, or rank badge, buzi, made of silk and woven in tapestry or kesi' (k'o-ssu) technique for the back of a court surcoat. It depicts a mandarin duck, the emblem of rank of a civil official of the seventh rank. The bird, woven in pink, blue and white silk, is looking upwards towards a red sun in the top left hand corner. Its wings are outstretched and it is standing on one, its left leg. Surrounded it on a brown ground are blue clouds, and dotted about are many symbolic motifs, including two bats, a fan, fish, and a conch (?). The sea is depicted using converging diagonal lines. The imagery is framed with a swastika patterned border, worked in brown silk and metal-wrapped thread. On the obverse are four blue strips attached to the selvedges, vestiges of the original garment. [Textile]

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: enquiry@horniman.ac.uk