rank insignia

A single Mandarin square, or rank badge, set in a wooden frame with glass protection. It is made with a brown silk satin background and couched embroidery. It depicts one of the emblems of rank of a civil official, most likely a silver pheasant, as it is entirely made of silver-coloured metal-wrapped thread, and has five separated and serrated tail plumes. This indicates it was worn by a civil official of the fifth rank. The bird is standing on a rock in the sea, looking upwards towards a gold-coloured sun in the top left hand corner. It is surrounded by clouds in tones of blue, and five bats representing The Five Blessings: longevity, ease, riches, honours and joy. The sky is filled with the fret pattern, which includes the wan, swastika, motif and the imagery is framed with a fret-patterned border.

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The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive.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