A collection of three pretty Vietnamese, Tibetan or Chinese jadeite and carnelian hair pins or headdress ornaments
CONDITION: good vintage condition with expected wear for age
SIZE: 3½ ins high (9 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1890s – 1900s
MATERIALS: metal, carnelian, jadeite
Here are three small antique Vietnamese, Tibetan or Chinese hair accessories which were made for consumption by the native population and not merely for export to the west.
Originating from the Qing Dynasty era, (circa late 1800s), these single-pronged hairpins were called Yín Zān 銀 簪 as stated and written in the Chinese traditional language.
During this period high ranking ladies favoured elaborate hair ornaments and headdresses. These ornaments, often made in pairs, were either stuck directly into a high top knot or fastened to the fabric of an elaborate bow shaped headdress. Those with the longer pins were probably intended to be worn directly in the hair, with the ornamental heading standing proud of the head to show off its beautiful workmanship. The shorter stemmed ornaments with a thick central spike were more likely intended to pierce the fabric of the headdress.
The collage picture shows a selection of illustrations from contemporary sources with similar hair accessories and the hair styles with which they were worn.
These are part of a large collection of Oriental hair pins which we recently bought, some being decorated with jadeite and others with carnelian. A few are of plain wrought metal. Many of them also display elaborate workmanship on the back of the ornament as well as the front.
The hairpins with jadeite carvings denote social class because high ranking women wore much of their wealth in their hair. It was believed that jade protected the wearer from evil and secured good health.
The motifs that were selected to embellish Oriental personal ornaments, costume and the fabrics from were invariably representational, depicting things in a convincingly naturalistic way. The largest number was taken from the natural world. Flowers, animals, birds and insects were universally recognizable and were easily related to the environmental concerns of the indigenous society.
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Three Oriental carnelian or jadeite hair pins or headdress ornaments (AAO)
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