Asian Antiques by Silk Road
Kingfisher Feather and Coral Qing Flower Pin

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All Items: Antiques:Regional Art:Asian:Chinese:Jewelry: Pre 1900: item # 847943

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Kingfisher Feather and Coral Qing Flower Pin
Iridescent blue kingfisher bird feathers were used to create the five petals of this 19th century Chinese pin that was most likely used as a hair ornament. Feathers from the tiny kingfisher bird decorated items used by the ladies of Chinese imperial courts for many centuries. Jewelry and other articles covered with the feathers were found in Tang Dynasty tombs. In the 18th century, the fashion developed for very large, intricate feather headpieces, and these can be seen worn by empresses and the wives of officials in many ancestor portraits. One empress is said to have had the brilliant blue feathers sewn on her bed covers. During the latter half of the Qing Period, small ornaments such as this one became fashionable and were created in hundreds of motifs and designs. (See the article “Kingfisher Feather Jewelry” by Roland Hartman, Arts of Asia magazine, May/June 1980.) Artisans devoted an exhaustive amount of labor and bird feathers to designing and hand assembling the pieces. The feathers were affixed to a metal backing. Each piece of metal was edged with a thin lip, the feathers were painstakingly cut to exact size to fit separate metal sections, and carefully attached with thin adhesive. This piece from the late 19th century has five flower petals centered with a polished piece of coral. It is in very good condition with only a small darkened area on one petal. Kingfisher feather items are fragile and must be handled carefully to avoid damaging the feathers. The fact that such items have survived speaks to the value placed on them. Dimensions: height 1” (3 cm), width 1 ½’ (4 cm). SEE MORE ITEMS IN OUR COLLECTION AT WWW.SILKROAD1.COM

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