embrodered sixth rank military biao badge for a lady Maximize

embrodered sixth rank military biao badge for a lady

Embrodered silk gauze
18th century
Height : 30 cm / Width : 30 cm
French private Collection

The rank badge adorned in the center with a panther perched on a rock among the waves and looking to the right towards a red sun, symbol of the power of the emperor. The animal stands out against a dense background of blue embroidered clouds  and surrounded by the Eight Buddhist Emblems (Ba ji xiang). The patterns delicately embroidered with silk and gold threads, the figures underlined with couched mettalic gold. The border decorated with a frieze of foliage and lotus flowers. The rank badge system (补 子 buzi) was codified in 1391 during the Ming Dynasty and was taken up under the Qing Dynasty. These rank badges appeared in the front and back of the pufu, the garment of the officials of the court. The officials were organized in accordance with a hierarchy, civil rank symbolized by a bird and military rank symbolized by an animal.

WRIGGLESWORTH Linda. Imperial Wardrobe. Pl. 124, p. 140.