19 March 2008
A BLACK SILK SATIN SCHOLAR'S CAP WITH ORIGINAL PAPER PACKAGE AND A PEACOCK FEATHER PLUME
LATE 19TH/EARLY 20TH CENTURY
The 'melon skin' skull cap of black satin stitched together from six segments and lined in stiffened red cotton, with a coral glass finial secured by a small gilt-metal mount stamped with a shou character, with original paper package; the Mandarin's single-eyed peacock feather plume with original yellow silk wrapper, reading Yi pin dang chao ('May you rise to the first rank and dominate the court'), a mottled brown and red jadeite plume fastener and a brocade presentation box
Cap approximately 7 in. (17.8 cm.) diam.; plume 14¾ in. (37.5 cm.) long, box 16¾ in. (42.6 cm.) long (4)
Private Australian collection.
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The original paper bag-like packaging for the scholar's cap indicates that the maker specialized in protective headgear, including flight hats for airplanes. It is also printed with a hat similar to the present cap.
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