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Object Timeline

1910

  • Work on this object ended.

1939

  • We acquired this object.

2012

2014

2015

2019

  • You found it!

Hair Ornament (China), ca. 1900

This is a Hair Ornament. It is dated ca. 1900 and we acquired it in 1939. Its medium is kingfisher feathers on lacquer backing with 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.

  • Firebird Figurine, 1920
  • molded, enameled porcelain.
  • The Henry and Ludmilla Shapiro Collection; Partial gift and partial purchase....
  • 1989-41-184

Our curators have highlighted 10 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Necklace (Norway), 1983
  • hammered steel nails, raised gold, silver, mother-of-pearl.
  • Museum purchase from Decorative Arts Association Acquisition Funds and....
  • 1984-83-1
  • Goblet, ca. 1900–10
  • 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), ca. 1900; kingfisher feathers on lacquer backing with 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.

This object has no known Copyright restrictions.

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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=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18557349/ |title=Hair Ornament (China), ca. 1900 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=25 March 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>