Insignia for the wife of a 4th rank military official (tiger) - ROM2008_9910_5

ROM2008_9910_5

Insignia for the wife of a 4th rank military official (tiger)

Medium:Satin embroidered in silk and gold thread
Geography: China
Date: early 19th century
Period: Jiaqing (r. 1796-1820) or Daoguang (r. 1821-1850), Qing Dynasty
Dimensions:
30 x 29.5 cm
Object number: 950.100.187
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Sigmund Samuel
Not on view
DescriptionThe tiger has been a symbol of military might since the earliest periods of Chinese history. In addition to using the image as a rank insignia, all Qing military officials sat on tiger skin throws when on official business. The Qing army was an important symbol of Manchu authority over the Chinese empire as well as a practical means of maintaining order. Traditionally, the highest-ranking officers were aristocrats of Manchu ancestry whose dragon, qilin and animal badges indicated noble rank. The nine ranks of military officers paralleled the nine grades of civil officials. These ranks were represented by animals.The birds and beasts on men’s badges face the sun disk in the upper left hand corner. The orientation for women’s badges is reversed so that when husband and wife sit together, the badge emblems appear facing each other.
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