This is a men's Chinese black winter parade hat or court hat made of pressed cardboard and covered with black wool. It dates to the second half of the 19th Century, roughly around 1860. The top bead, its color and the material from which it had been made, denoted the rank of the wearer. This particular top bead seems to be made of some dark blue stone material which has been screwed into a metal post. The top bead and its metal post are encircled with red cotton fringe. Both the interior of the hat and its exterior are in excellent antique condition.