hat finial

Hat finial consisting of gilt base with an inverted cup holding a round opaque pink glass ornament. For an official of the second rank.

These items were acquired by the great-uncle of the donor, Christopher Bass Mears II in China where he worked from 1882 to 1912 for the Imperial Chinese Customs. Mr Mears' letter to the curator includes the following:'They were principally acquired soon after 1900, when all his original possessions were destroyed in the Boxer rebellion. Many of the items appear in photographs of his home in Peking which he has dated 1907, and are therefore typical of wares that ordinary British overseas workers and tourists bought as Chinese 'curios' at that period just before the Sun Yat Sen revolution of 1912, the terminal decade of the Chinese Imperial system. Upon retirement in 1912 he and his wife returned to this country and settled in Brighton, with these objects.'

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The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive.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.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: enquiry@horniman.ac.uk