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Rank badge

Rank badge

  • Place of origin:

    Korea (made)

  • Date:

    1600-1700 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk damask embroidered with coloured silks and gold thread

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This rank badge, or hyungbae, is decorated in silk threads with a single crane holding the plant of eternal youth among stylised clouds, rocks and surging waves. During the Choson dynasty (1392-1910), rank badges became an important part of dress worn by civil officials and were first used in the second year of the rule of King Danjong (1454). Worn on the chest and the rear of the uniforms of officials and members of the royal family, they represent the rank of the wearer. Different animals indicate different ranks and the single crane, seen here, was worn by civil officials of lower rank. Over the course of the Choson dynasty, subtle changes were made to the hyungbae, but its core iconography remained the same.

Physical description

Silk damask rank badge, one of a set of two. Embroidered with coloured silks with some couched gold thread showing a a single crane holding the plant of eternal youth amongst stylized clouds, rocks and surging waves.
The remainder of the ground is embroidered with highly stylised waves, mountains and clouds. Out of the central rock outcrop stems a fungus plant which is partly embroidered with couched gold thread. The two badgess are similar in style, detail and execution.

Place of Origin

Korea (made)


1600-1700 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Silk damask embroidered with coloured silks and gold thread


Height: 26.7 cm, Width: 23.8 cm

Object history note

Purchased. Registered File number 1971/1491.

Descriptive line

Tex, Korea, Rank badge, blue silk damask embroidered with coloured silks and gold thread, Korea, Choson period, 1600-1700


Silk (textile); Silk thread; Metal thread


Damask weave; Embroidering

Subjects depicted

Crane; Rocks; Waves; Plants; Clouds


Clothing; Embroidery; Textiles; Formal wear


East Asia Collection

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