The Eight Banners were an administrative division under which all Manchu households were placed.

In the conquest phase, the Manchu armies started with four banners which were later expanded to eight. In these early times, new tribes that were assimilated into the Manchu army were divided over these banners to prevent mutiny. Especially loyal clans were allowed to remain intact and were placed under a single banner. Once the Qing was established, Manchus were born under a certain banner and typically served under that banner for life, although in rare cases entire families were moved from one banner to another.

For an elaborate article, see: Bāqí (八旗)

ChineseBāqí (八旗)
Manchu: Jakūn Gūsa

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


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


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


A robust and heavy example, crafted with care.


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


Once belonging to William Fraser (1784-1835), a British civil servant.