Language: Chinese
Source: In common use


Bŭzi (補子) are silk embroidered badges that were worn by officials in the Ming and Qing dynasties. The officials were known in the west as Mandarins, probably derived off the latin mandare, which means "to command". These badges are usually square and are therefore also known as "mandarin squares" or "mandarin badges".

There were 9 ranks in total for each class, with each rank having two sub-grades, a and b. Each position in the Qing administration required a specific rank.

Qing rank badge

A Qing dynasty military rank badge with the golden cat, denominating the 6th rank.
Circa 1860-1898. Listed on


Further reading, see:

Beverley Jackson and David Hugus; Ladder to the clouds: intrigue and tradition in Chinese rank. Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, California, 1999.

Do you have anything for sale?

I might be interested in buying it.

Contact me

Depicting the golden cat, representing the 6th military rank.


Unusual Chinese duanjian with fine gilt mounts and a blade of non-Chinese origin.


A robust and heavy example, crafted with care.


A standard pattern Qing military saber, but with the rare addition of a label in Manchu.


Of classic shape, with a leaf-shaped blade on a socket, connected by a cast bronze base.


A very rare Chinese saber guard dating from the height of the Qing dynasty.