Insignia for the wife of a 4th rank civil official (goose) - ROM2008_9901_10


Insignia for the wife of a 4th rank civil official (goose)

Medium:Silk and gold tapestry (kesi) with painted detail
Geography: China
Date: 1750 - 1800
Period: Qing Dynasty
26 x 26.2 cm
Object number: 950.100.304
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Sigmund Samuel
Not on view
DescriptionThe goose has been used to signal rank since the late Tang dynasty (618-960). It was chosen as a symbol for civil officials because of its orderly nature. The imperial government relied on the services of thousands of civil servants to administer laws throughout the empire. This bureaucracy was divided into nine ranks, each represented by a bird. Appointments to the civil bureaucracy were determined by successfully passing three levels of examinations based on knowledge of the Confucian classics. These rigorous examinations required years of study. Appointment to the court brought entitlements and recognition, conferring prestige for the official’s entire family.
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