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Qing Military Banner

19th century

A military banner in a triangular format with serrated edges, featuring flames with a central depiction of a dragon chasing a flaming pearl. The painting employs gold and silver gilt outlined with ink detailing. The dragon's scales are rendered in gold with the underside in silver gilt. The flag's body is fashioned from orange silk brocade, adorned with a cloud motif and edged with indigo-dyed blue fabric where the banner would have attached to a pole. Although the banner's original colour was likely red, age and prolonged exposure to the Sun has faded it to an orange hue.

The final century of the Qing dynasty saw several violent conflicts most involving the British Empire such as the Opium Wars (1840-42 and 1856-60), the Taiping Rebellion (1851-64) and the Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901). While the exact provenance of this military banner remains unknown, the object was likely captured by a British soldier during one of these conflicts and subsequently brought to England, where it was acquired by the collection.

It is possible that object information will be updated as new research findings are discovered. Please email if you can improve this record.

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