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Chinese Cloud Collar
19th Century China
This elaborately designed collar was worn by a Han woman of China, sometime in the nineteenth century for the purpose of personal adornment.
The cloud collar, getting its name from its design, is filled with symbolic meaning. The outline and petals of the collar are seen as a representation of the universe, with the wearer’s head as the cosmic centre.
Depicted throughout the collar are various symbols, representative of Chinese culture. Floral imagery is the most prominent of the icons on the collar, including embroidered peonies, orchids and lotus flowers. Other symbols on the collar include the swastika, a symbol of good luck and long life, and the butterfly, a symbol of beauty and marital bliss.