hair ornament

Woman's crosspiece hair ornament, 'bian fang', made of nephrite in the shape of a 'ruyi' sceptre. It is decorated with two pierced lozenges and a bat design below the 'ruyi'-head. Each lozenge encloses a swastika symbol, a stylized 'wan' character representing ten thousand. Worn by a married Manchu woman, the crosspiece was thrust horizontally through a bun on top of her head.

See illustration on page 66 of Verity Wilson: Chinese Dress. 1986. Victoria and Albert Museum Press.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

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