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.

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


A rather well-made example of its type.


With good, layered blade, mounted in forged iron mounts.


A bronze processional piece with reign marks attributing it to the year 1864.


Such rings were worn by Qing dynasty "bannermen" as a sign of their status as a conquest elite.


A Chinese sword guard from the 18th century with a Buddhist mantra in lantsa script.

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