rank insignia; textile; Mandarin square

The right section for the wearer of a mandarin square, or rank badge, for the front of a coat. Made with couched embroidery on a brown satin ground. It depicts a bird, one of the emblems of rank of a civil official, perhaps a silver pheasant, of the fifth rank. The front section of the bird, worked largely in silver-coloured metal-wrapped thread on a separate fabric, is applied to the ground. It is looking upwards towards a red sun in the top left hand corner. Surrounding the bird are rows of the cloud and thunder pattern, worked in tones of blue silk fibres and outlined in silver-coloured thread. Four large symbolic motifs complete the upper section. The lower section has couched gold and silver right leaning diagonal lines. The imagery is framed with spirals interlinked with a fret pattern. The textile is lined with a tabby woven blue silk.

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The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive.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