The way to get ahead in dynastic China was to join the government. The way to do that was to be born male, and get outstanding grades on the governmental entrance exams. Every man wanted to be "a member of the club." Pressure was intense; competition fierce. When an applicant scored very high on the imperial exams, he (and it was always a "he") might have been presented with a sign such as this one. The large letters say, figuratively, "Congratulations on Your Scholastic Achievement." Trust me, a diploma is easier to carry, but nowhere as handsome as this sign when displayed on the wall. The color red suggests happiness while yellow suggests "fit for a king." This sign was made late in the Qing dynasty - sometime between 1909 and 1912. It originated in Fujian Province. Paint has been touched up and over-coated.
Dimensions: 23" x 71" x 4"