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Chinese mandarin rank badge , Mandarin Square

52 cm (20 1/2")
54 cm (21 1/4")
Chinese Antique Mandarin Square used as a Mandarin Rank badge. Embroidered with silk on silk with an appliqued bird - an Egret - which is for the sixth rank.

The border of the badge shows bats and shou signs for longevity and good fortune. The background on the badge shows Ruyi headed clouds, bats and Daoist emblems with the bird perched on rock work above a stripy turbulent sea. the sky back ground is embroidered in a very unusual, rare, style and to the top left hand corner is the sun disk in tightly coiled silk

The badge is for the back of a robe belonging to a man and the relatively uncluttered style of the work would indicate that it was made at the start of an Emperors reign. An appliqued bird was easily removed if the Mandarin was promoted to the next rank or even demoted to a lower one then a different bird was needed.

The mandarin rank badge shows the rank of the Mandarin in the civil service and what their responsibilities were. The sixth rank were Secretaries and Tutors in the Imperial Academies and the Hanlin Institute, Registrars and assistant Secretaries in the Law Courts, there were other duties but these were the main ones.

All framed and conserved the measurements include the frame
52 cm (20 1/2")
54 cm (21 1/4")
c 1870
See Ladder to the Clouds by Beverly Jackson and Michael Hugus for full explanations and similar.
Overall good but a little fraying to the edge of the badge where it has been sewn onto various robes