Chairman Mao Badges: Symbols and Slogans of the Cultural Revolution

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British Museum, 2008 - Antiques & Collectibles - 207 pages
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Millions of Chairman Mao badges were produced during China's Cultural Revolution, and were worn by almost all Chinese people, from Premier Zhou Enlai down to the smallest child. Made in a wide variety of materials (aluminium, plastic, bamboo, porcelain, gold, silver, copper, iron and lead) and with an extensive range of shapes, sizes and designs, they immediately became collectors' items. To give an idea of scale, in China today serious collections start at 10,000 different Mao badges. This catalogue starts with the modest collection of 300 Mao badges at the British Museum. It is the first serious catalogue of its kind in a Western language. While Chinese catalogues assume an extensive prior knowledge of Chinese revolutionary history, this new English catalogue is designed for the beginner and specialist alike, offering a narrative history, as well as extensive glossaries of the symbolic imagery and slogans found on the badges.

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Mao Badges as Part of the Milieu of the Cultural Revolution
Mao Badges Materials and Manufacture
Catalogue of Mao Badges in the British Museum

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About the author (2008)

Helen Wang is curator of East Asian money in the Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum.

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