rank insignia; textile; Mandarin square

A mandarin square, or rank badge, buzi, made of silk and woven in tapestry or 'kesi' technique to be sewn to the back of a court surcoat. It depicts a paradise fly-catcher, emblem of rank of a civil official of the ninth rank. The bird, woven predominantly in cream silk with some pink and green, with two very long tail feathers, is looking upwards, wings outstretched, towards a red sun in the top left hand corner. It is surrounded by blue clouds and dotted about are many symbolic motifs, including a lotus, a jar, and a mystic knot, all worked in gold-coloured metal-wrapped thread on a black ground. Woven in shades of blue and white are five bats, chrysanthemem flowers and cherry blossom. The sea is depicted using converging diagonal lines. The imagery is framed with a fret patterned border, worked in brown silk and metal-wrapped thread. [Textile]

Collection Information

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