Cloud collar

The name “cloud collar” comes from the shape of this collar’s lobes, or petals, which are often layered. Women wore these collars over robes for special occasions. The cloud shapes represent abundance. At one time, the neck opening symbolized the Sky Gate (the entrance to heaven), and the lobes, pointing in four directions, represented the universe in miniature.

Collection Connections 

What are the symbolic images embroidered on this collar and what do they mean?

responded: Jul 13, 2012

Posted by Charlotte H

Recommend this Response
This heavily embelished cloud collar was worn with a formal robe, hat, beads and a surcoat. It was a special honour to wear the collar since only the ruling emperor could grant the right for it to be worn. The collar is relatively large and drapes over the shoulders. It is made up of four points, these symbolize that all things from any four directions will flow smooth and easily. It is heavily embroidered with flowers, more specifically peonies, which symbolize prosperity. *Interesting Fact*: There is often an image of a hummingbird hovering over a batch of melons which symbolizes never ending generations of sons and grandsons.

Elements of this site may require Flash player 8