Rank Badge with Lion

Period: Ming dynasty (1368–1644)

Date: 15th century

Culture: China

Medium: Silk and metallic-thread embroidery on silk gauze

Dimensions: Overall: 14 1/2 x 14 1/4 in. (36.8 x 36.2 cm)

Classification: Textiles-Embroidered

Credit Line: Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, in honor of Myron S. Falk Jr., 1988

Accession Number: 1988.154.1


During the Ming dynasty, the audience robes of government officials bore insignia designating rank. While different birds represented civil ranks, military ranks were represented by a variety of real and mythical quadrupeds. The lion, as seen on this badge, symbolizes the highest military rank.