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       Updated:2017-06-26      Text:Large /  Medium  /  Small  

                   A pair of flowerpot-bottomed chopine, 20.5 cm high, from the Palace Museum's collection.


 

A pair of flowerpot-bottomed chopine, 20.5 cm high, from the Palace Museum's collection.



Females tend to be loyal followers of fashion, in either ancient times or today. The beauties in the ancient royal court were more of fashion insiders, compared with common people. Let's take a look at fashion items females donned in ancient royal palace.

 

A gold buyao in the shape of a horse head with deer horns from the Northern Dynasty (386-581), collected by the National Museum of China. [Photo/Official Wechat account of Palace Museum's Taobao]

 

Buyao hairpin


Buyao, literally translating to "swing by step", was an exquisite hair ornament denoting noble status. The buyao hairpin was generally made of gold in the shape of a dragon or phoenix, and decorated with pearls and jade. The main feature of a buyao was its pendants that swing as the wearer moved, which requires the wearer to walk elegantly. Buyao was popular mainly in Han (206 BC-220) and Tang (618-907) dynasties, and only concubines with high status in the royal court were eligible to wear buyao.

Fingernail sheath


Fostering nails had been a fad in ancient times, especially for females of wealthy families. To protect their slender and fragile fingernails, a sheath was designed particularly for nails. The sheath, in the shape of a bow, was always worn on the ring finger and little finger, and at the top part of a finger.


During the Qing Dynasty, the nail sheath was made mostly of gold, silver, jade, hawksbill, pearl and gold-gilded copper, and the craftsmanship was enamel, filigree, carving and diancui (dipping blue).