University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Buzi or Mandarin squares are embroidered badges of rank, worn on the outer coats of Chinese statesmen, military officials, and their wives from the 15th to 20th century CE. Fierce animals such as leopards, lions, and bears represent military officials, while various bird species including the silver pheasant, mandarin duck, and egret symbolize civic officials. The Buddhist and Taoist symbols scattered among the waves and cloud backgrounds in the squares, highlight the syncretism of religious beliefs in China at the time of their manufacture. Standing in for the Emperor and often depicted as a red disk on the upper part of the square, the sun serves as a focal point for many of the animals to look up to and revere.

The Penn Museum's collection of Mandarin squares was acquired by Brigadier-General J. S. Letcher in Beijing right before the Sino-Japanese war in 1894. It consists of 150 badges, including many unorthodox pieces that were most likely used in wedding or funeral ritual dress.


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Mandarin Square

52-23-6

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Mandarin Square

52-23-103B

52-23-103B

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Mandarin Square

52-23-13

52-23-13

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Mandarin Square

52-23-11B

52-23-11B

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Mandarin Square

52-23-58

52-23-58

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Mandarin Square

52-23-91B

52-23-91B

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Mandarin Square

52-23-19B

52-23-19B

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Mandarin Square

52-23-36B

52-23-36B

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Mandarin Square

52-23-40

52-23-40

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Mandarin Square

52-23-88B

52-23-88B

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Mandarin Square

52-23-78

52-23-78

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Mandarin Square

21104A

21104A

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Mandarin Square

52-23-55B

52-23-55B

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Mandarin Square

52-23-33

52-23-33

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Mandarin Square

52-23-69B

52-23-69B

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Mandarin Square

52-23-60A

52-23-60A

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Mandarin Square

52-23-41A

52-23-41A

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Mandarin Square

52-23-65

52-23-65

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Mandarin Square

52-23-7

52-23-7

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Mandarin Square

52-23-98

52-23-98

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Mandarin Square

52-23-72

52-23-72

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Mandarin Square

52-23-22A

52-23-22A

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Mandarin Square

52-23-107B

52-23-107B

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Mandarin Square

52-23-14

52-23-14

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Mandarin Square

52-23-66

52-23-66

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Mandarin Square

52-23-85

52-23-85

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Mandarin Square

52-23-1

52-23-1

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Mandarin Square

52-23-53

52-23-53

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Mandarin Square

52-23-59

52-23-59

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Mandarin Square

52-23-57B

52-23-57B

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1 - 30 of 170 Records
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