Chinese Rank Badge
View Our Collection of Antique Chinese Rank Badges
Antique Chinese Rank Badges, also know as Mandarin squares, have been in use in China sine the fourteenth century, and owe their genesis to an even older Chinese tradition of wearing embroidered materials embellished with birds, tigers, and other auspicious symbols. The development of the “Rank Badge” phenomenon is easy to trace, and consistent with contemporaneous developments during the Ming Dynasty, when widespread nation-wide regulations were first put into place. Rank Badges remained in use until the dissolution of the Chinese Empire, in the early years of the twentieth century.
Traditionally, the antique Chinese Rank Badges were worn by the nobility and by officials in the government of the Ming Dynasty. The rank badge would completely cover the chest as well as the back. The arrangement of birds and other auspicious symbols of the Chinese Rank Badges evolved over the centuries, initially determined by regulation, and subsequently by aesthetic preference.
The antique Chinese Rank Badges remain popular with collectors and admirers of antique rugs, who prize them for their uniqueness and for their cultural significance.
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