Hairpin, one of a pair, 18th century

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Gold ornaments, often set with gemstones like pearls, rubies, garnets and jade, were popular women's accessories during the Ming and Qing dynasties. These hairpins, earrings and pendants nearly always represented auspicious flowers, animals or insects. Included were the dragon and phoenix with their reference to nobility, bats for happiness, the deer and fungus for long life, dragonflies for summer, pomegranates for fertility, various birds, squirrels and even crabs for good luck. Most of these objects were intended as hair ornaments; others were parts of elaborate gold burial crowns meant to accompany the deceased in the afterlife.

Hairpin, one of a pair
Accession Number
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