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Mandarin square

Core Record

Title Mandarin square
Collection Artworld: Oriental Museum
Date 1796 - 1820
Description Mandarin square of a civilian grade 4 official of the Jiaqing reign.
The rank badge made from a delicately woven square of silk. In the centre of the square stands a white pheasant on a rock among swirling waves, looking towards the sun. Below the waves are diagonal stripes of alternating gold, copper and silver thread. The pheasant is surrounded by symbols of good luck (such as the endless knot, lotus, wheel of law, conch shell, flaming pearl, five bats, swastika, fish and canopy) on a background of clouds. Around the edge of the square is a border of alternating pictures of bats and the Chinese character Shou, the symbol for longevity.
A square of plain turquoise silk is handstitched to the reverse of the square. There is evidence of damage on the reverse, which is not evident from the front.
Cultural Context Chinese
Id Number Current Accession 1981.27.a
Location Creation Site Zhonghua, Heilongjiang Sheng, Zhaodong
Location Current Repository The Oriental Museum
Subject accessory (including regalia), badge of office
Measurements 303 x 285 x 3 mm
Context 5 bats represent long life, wealth, peace, virtue and a happy ending. Swastika represents longevity. The complete square was sewn on the back of the robe while the two halves of another square were sewn on either side of the part of the gown which opened in the centre.
Context Source OMDB
Rights Oriental Museum, University of Durham, Durham, 2002. All Rights reserved
Rights Owner OM
Style Period Qing Dynasty, Jiaqing
Work Type badge



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