Auspicious Symbols of Rank and Status
Advanced Search
Select up to three search categories and corresponding keywords using the fields to the right. Refer to the Help section for more detailed instructions.

Search our Collections & Repository

For very narrow results

When looking for a specific result

Best used for discovery & interchangable words

Recommended to be used in conjunction with other fields



Document Data
Clear All
Clear All

For additional assistance using the Custom Query please check out our Help Page


Auspicious Symbols of Rank and Status

Filetype[PDF-2.28 MB]



  • Alternative Title:
    Emerg Infect Dis
  • Personal Author:
  • Description:
    Artist Unknown, Rank Badge with Leopard, Wave and Sun Motifs, late 18th century (detail). Silk, metallic thread. 10 3/4 in x 11 1/4 in / 27.31 cm x 28.57 cm. Public domain digital image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA; bequest of William Christian Paul, 1929. Accession no.30.75.1025.

    This month’s cover image is an 18th century Qing military rank badge that depicts a muscular leopard standing on a small piece of light brown, green-tinged land amidst flowering plants and fruit trees. The sur- rounding sky is filled with swooping bats and tendrils of clouds. Stylized ocean waves rise and swell, and breakers reach out like fingers on a hand. What may be lingzhi mushrooms, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine and are also symbols of immortal- ity, sprout from the junction of ocean with land. The small red sun disk in the upper left represents the em- peror and provides a focal point for the leopard. The leopard itself symbolizes power, important for mili- tary officers. Combined, the various elements related to the sky, sea, and land denote the universe, and the bats indicate good fortune. The bold colors and tex- tures of the finely woven threads stand out in contrast to the black background, and an intricately designed gold border wraps the edges of the badge.

  • Subjects:
  • Source:
  • Pubmed Central ID:
  • Document Type:
  • Genre:
  • Place as Subject:
  • Location:
  • Collection(s):
  • Main Document Checksum:
  • Download URL:
  • File Type:

You May Also Like

Checkout today's featured content at