hat

Boy's hat in the shape of a scholar hat. The crown is made in three sections: a horizontal brow band, an upper part covering the crown, and a curved freestanding band which arches over the top. The brow band is in lilac, bordered in black, with floral embroidery and nine amber Buddha figures etched in white. The reverse of the brow band is purple, with a cockerel design and a pink bow. The upper section is cream with an embroidered five petal design featuring a butterfly and flowers, outlined in gold thread. On the reverse is an embroidered cockerel on a black ground. The top curved arch is of padded black cloth with tassels in pink and green thread. This arched headpiece features seven Chinese characters on either side, which read 'shou bi nan shan gao mo bing', or 'There is no long life stay higher than the Southern Mountain', which is a wish for long life, and on the other side 'ming qi bei dou gu lai xi', which reads 'There is rarely honour at the same level as the 'Northern Dipper'', which is a wish for the wearer to receive official honour as high as the 'Northern Dipper'.

A scholar hat was given to a boy to wish him future success in the official examinations, and would have been worn during special occasions, such as a birthday or Chinese New Year. See Garrett, Valery M., 1997, 'A Collector's Guide to Chinese Dress Accessories', p.59

Collection Information

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