19 March 2008
A VERY RARE RED SILK FLOSS SUMMER HAT AND PAINTED TIN HAT BOX
Of conical form, the stiff frame covered on the exterior with red silk floss teased at the ends to form a thick mass to create a brim above an edging of silver-wrapped ribbon, the interior lined in cerise silk, with a silver ovoid hat button on a gilt-silver openwork mount of phoenixes flying amidst clouds; the conical tin hat box raised on three scroll supports and with a clasp on one side, painted in gold around the upright sides with ribbon-tied motifs and on the cover with foliate sprays below a metal melon-form finial, interior painted red
Hat: 12¼ in. (31 cm.) diam.; hat box 13¼ in. (33.7 cm.) diam. (2)
Purchased London, 1980.
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G. Dickinson and L. Wrigglesworth, Imperial Wardrobe, Berkeley and Toronto, rev. ed., 2000, p. 108, pl. 90.
This is an early example of an official's less formal summer hat with a very rare silver hat button. This type of summer hat was worn on semi-formal occasions with the jifu or dragon robe, and was later replaced after the Huangchao liqi tushi regulations of 1759 by the type of bamboo conical hat overlaid with a red silk cord tassel, such as the summer hat in lot 114.
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