In the 19th and early 20th century, Chinese boys, up to the age of six, wore black silk satin skull caps. But for festival wear, the black silk satin cap became more elaborate. This hat is a good example of such a festival hat. With five silver Buddhas sewn onto the front, for good luck and protection. But these laughing Buddhas are a friendly pieces, which were thought to dismiss misery and
unhappiness from the world. The hat has also been adorned with elaborate silk embroidery braid and silk tassels hung from the sides of the hat, and are secured by silver beads.
The embroidery is always symbolic. On one side of the hat, there are four bats surrounding a double happiness character. The four bats are an emblem of good fortune because the word bat, fu, was a homonym with the words “good fortune.”
Four bat mean longevity, wealth, health and the love of virtue.
On the other side, there is a peony embroidered, emblem of wealth and honour.
On the top of the hat, lotus flowers flourish. Their intended meaning was the continuation of producing sons.
The hat, which is in fairly good condition with the embroidery and silk satin in good order, as well as the five intact silver Buddhas, measures 5 ½ inches across and stands at 3 ½ inches high. The hat has a stiff cotton insert within the hat, in order for it to be displayed on the acrylic stand. On the stand, the hat presents at ten inches high. The plinth of the stand is seven inches by five inches and a half inch in height.
This is a charming and decorative piece of Chinese history, arranged so that it can be displayed on a table or within a bookshelf. Anyone interested in Chinese antiques will treasure this child’s hat.
Antique, 19th Century, Chinese Child's Hat in Embroidered Silk with Silver Buddhas
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