The Grand Golden Placard from the 1844 Military Palace Examination
Length: 180cm; width: 40cm
In the Ch'ing dynasty, as in the Ming, those who intended to become members of the bureaucracy first had to participate in the county and prefectural examinations to obtain student status, known as sheng-yüan or hsiu-ts'ai. If the Sheng-yüan ranked top in the annual examination at the county and prefectural level, they could further take the provincial examination held once every three years in the provincial capital. Successful candidates of this provincial examination were known as chü-jen. Chü-jen could go to Beijing (the capital) for the metropolitan examination under the direction of the Board of Rites the following year. Those who passed this examination were given the title of kung-shih, and admitted to the palace examination held two months later which was conducted by the emperor to determine which candidates would be ranked first, second, and third. The top three of the first category were known as chuang-yüan, pang-yen, and t'an-hua respectively. The ranking placard used after the palace examination was known as the “Golden Placard”, and was produced in two sizes. A Grand Golden Placard was a board upon which the list of the names of the chin-shih was posted. After the ceremony during which the names of the chin-shih were announced, the Grand Golden Placard of the Military Palace Examination was hung on the West Ch'ang-an Gate for three days, and then stored at the Grand Secretariat. A Small Golden Placard was a reduced-scale version of the Grand Golden Placard and was prepared specifically for imperial inspection.
Price NTD 1,950