Hairpin - ROM2005_3221_1



Medium:Beaten silver with gild
Geography: Reportedly from Guihuacheng, Shanxi
Date: early 7th-early 10th Century
Period: Tang Dynasty
0.2 x 29 x 5 cm
Object number: 918.7.175
Credit Line: The George Crofts Collection
On view
Gallery Location:Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of China
DescriptionThe sybaritic elegance which characterized Tang society during its gradual decline from the mid-8th century onward is exemplified in this parcel-gilt silver hairpin. The Chinese delighted in such ornamental hairpins, using them both to secure and to adorn their hair. This long, bifurcated hairpin is fashioned out of beaten silver and has an extravagant parcel-gilt finial with an openwork design. The technique is not only ornamental. It had the practical effect of reducing the weight of the hairpin and allowing it to quiver slightly when the lady moved, creating an effect of shimmering richness. For the personal ornaments of women, motifs symbolic of marital happiness and fertility were much favoured. Two knotted ribbons representing the unbreakable union of marriage decorate this hairpin.
Browse Categories:Textiles & Fashions
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