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Hair Ornament (China)

This is a hair ornament. It is dated ca. 1900 and we acquired it in 1939. Its medium is kingfisher feathers, lacquer, silk-covered wire. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

The vivid iridescent blue of this headdress is the natural color of feathers from the kingfisher bird, native to parts of China and other Asian locations. Kingfisher feathers were used for objects of personal adornment because of their dazzling visual appeal. Associated with affluence and status, finely crafted ornaments such as this one were popular among high ranking government officials and weatlhy patrons.

This object was donated by William Dangaix Allen. It is credited Gift of William Dangaix Allen.

  • Buckle (France)
  • gold, opals, pearls, garnets.
  • Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Maxime Hermanos.
  • 1967-88-3
  • Firebird Figurine
  • molded, enameled porcelain.
  • The Henry and Ludmilla Shapiro Collection; Partial gift and partial purchase....
  • 1989-41-184
  • Birdcage (China)
  • lacquered wood with inlaid bone,ivory, and ebony (base); carved and cut....
  • Gift of Thomas F. Ryan.
  • 1916-26-1-a/jj

Our curators have highlighted 11 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Goblet
  • etched, enameled, and gilded mold-blown glass.
  • Gift of Historical Design Inc..
  • 2006-30-7

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 18.4 x 6 x 0.5 cm (7 1/4 x 2 3/8 x 3/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Hair Ornament (China); kingfisher feathers, lacquer, silk-covered wire; H x W x D: 18.4 x 6 x 0.5 cm (7 1/4 x 2 3/8 x 3/16 in.); Gift of William Dangaix Allen; 1939-73-11

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Making Design.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Hair Ornament (China) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=7 June 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>