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Gilded Silver Hairpin with Gemstone Flower and Tourmaline Peach Designs

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Period: Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Dimensions: Overall length: 22.0 cm; flower decor width: 6.8 cm; length: 7.5 cm

In historic photographs, Empress Dowager Cixi (1835–1908) is seen with hairpins very similar to this featured piece. Consequently, some art historians believe the pin may have belonged to that ruling lady. Decorated with flower petals made from a kind of amber (called mila), the hairpin also has embellishments of jadeite leaves and tourmaline peaches. The central stamen of the flower is made with a single pearl. In traditional Chinese imagery, the peach signifies wishes for longevity.

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