Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Rank Badge with Bear

Period:
Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Date:
late 17th–early 18th century
Culture:
China
Medium:
Silk, metallic thread, and feather-thread supplementary weft-patterned silk satin
Dimensions:
13 x 11 1/2 in. (33.02 x 29.21 cm)
Classification:
Textiles-Woven
Credit Line:
Anonymous Gift, 1943
Accession Number:
43.115.1
Not on view
The bear represents the fifth military rank. While the birds used in Chinese rank badges correspond to actual species, the animals usually do not. Instead, many are fantastic animals, and all were chosen for their supernatural power. Bears on rank badges do not resemble bears in nature. Instead, they often feature an upswept mane, an emphasis on the paws (very long in this example), and an extended tail.
New York. China Institute in America. "Animals and BIrds in Chinese Art from Private and Museum Collections," October 25, 1967–January 28, 1968.

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