Jewellery from Forbidden City

As a Chinese, I am really obsessed with traditional Chinese jewellery. Today, I am going to show some amazing pieces from The Palace Museum.

Beginning with a little background of Forbidden City 故宫. Forbidden City was the former Chinese imperial palace from Ming to Qing dynasty, between 1420 and 1924. Now it becomes a museum, which known as the Palace Museum. All the jewellery below are the collections from the Palace Museum. Most of them were belong to the empresses or imperial consorts. Jewellery from Ming and Qing dynasty, often made with gold or jade, combining with all kinds of precious and semi precious stones. Most of the jewellery has a pattern that related to happiness, auspicious, thriving, prosperous, etc., to represent the good wishes.

Gold Hairpin with Semi-precious Stones

This hairpin is from Qing dynasty (1644-1911). In the centre is the Chinese character for longevity. Gold filigree creates five fungi, together forms a plum blossom. Each fungus inlaid with red tourmaline. Blue kingfisher feathers were applied to add rich colour. This is a very typical Qing dynasty jewellery.

White Jade Hairpin with Openwork Fish Design and Gemstone Inlay

In this hairpin, it focus on details of the natural world. Lotus and fish are homophonous with the concept of successive years of abundance.

Gold Ring with Pearl and Gemstones

The pearl set in a six prong setting, in the middle of the gold ring. Ruby and jade carved in a bat shape. Bat is homophonous with endless happiness.

Agarwood with gold inlay bangles

Two bangles were made with agarwood, with gold inlay. The gold granulation forms in the Chinese character for longevity. The bangles could use to drive out the evil spirts.

Five-Phoenixes Coronet inlaid with Kingfisher Feathers and Jewels

This coronet is framed by iron wire and paperboard. Surface desin made by black silk threads with kingfisher feathers. Five gold filigree phoenixes inlaid with pearls. Tassels were made with pearl, coral, turquoise, lazurite, ruby and sapphire. This luxury ornament is for empresses, and only worn on festive occasions and traditional holidays.

Hope you enjoy these incredible pieces. All the informations and pictures are from the Palace Museum website (


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