Collecting Case B5

Woman’s Coral Colored Robe

Woman’s Coral Colored Robe

China, Qing Dynasty, 1644–1911, 19th century
DBC 11159.1

Large brocade rondels with dragons are woven into the silk. The trim is embroidered with auspicious symbols and cranes.

Two red Asian hats and a hatbox

Summer Court Hat
Semi-formal Winter Court Hat
Double-tiered Court Hat Box

China, Qing Dynasty, 1644–1911, 19th century
DBC 11159.1

These hats would have been worn by a civil official, whose gilt hat button signified the seventh rank. The winter court hat occupied the lower tier of the box and the conical summer court hat the upper tier. It is unusual for a hat box to survive with both its hats.

Ruyi Scepter made of wood and jade

Ruyi Scepter

China, Qing Dynasty, 1644–1911, 19th century
Wood, jade
DBC 10690.1

Ruyi means “as you wish” and refers to the heart-shaped terminal at the end of the scepter. Scepters like this were given as gifts. It is carved out of hard Zitan wood and inset with three carved jade plaques with intertwined dragons.

Womens hat with batwing-like shape

Woman’s Hat (Liang Patou) with Cross Piece (Bianfang)

China, Qing Dynasty
Silk, gilded silver
DBC 10020.1, 11015.1

Manchu women wore this unusual headdress for non-official occasions. It mimics the “two handful handfuls of hair” style which was considerably more difficult to arrange and maintain.

Rosewood, quartz, and leather necklace

Court Necklace (Chao Zhu) and Box

China, Qing Dynasty, 1644–1911, 19th century
Rosewood, quartz, and leather
DBC 10667.1/2

The court necklace was an essential part of court dress, indicating both rank and season. Based on the Buddhist rosary, the main string comprised 108 small beads divided into groups of 27 by four larger “Buddha Head” beads. Only imperial nobles and high-court officials were permitted to wear them.

Hat and Box

Hat and Box

Korea, 19th century
Woven horsehair, bamboo, silk; wood and brass
DBC 10372.1/2

Korean men wore this type of hat during the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910). Prior to the late 19th century, only men of the noble class were permitted to wear it as it represented their social status. The tall shape protected their topknots. This one is exceptionally finely woven, partly transparent, and in excellent condition having been safely stored in its box.

collection of shoes

Cloud-tipped Shoes
Manchu-style Mid-sole High Platform Shoe

China, 19th century
DBC 11036.1/2,10503.1

Manchu women did not bind their feet. They wore embroidered silk shoes elevated on a platform in the middle of the sole or flat shoes with bushy golden silk fringe.

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