In spring 1852, in one of the periodic nationwide selections for imperial consorts, a sixteen-year-old girl caught the eye of the emperor and was chosen as a concubine. A Chinese emperor was entitled to one empress and as many concubines as he pleased. In the court registry she was entered simply as ‘the woman of the Nala family’, with no name of her own. Female names were deemed too insignificant to be recorded. In fewer than ten years, however, this girl, whose name may have been lost for ever, had fought her way to become the ruler of China, and for decades - until her death in 1908 - would hold in her hands the fate of nearly one-third of the world’s population. She was the Empress Dowager Cixi.
Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China by Jung Chang
Characters based off the Legend of Wing Chun. Takes place during the Qing Dynasty in China.
It was really interesting reading about chinese history while searching for a theme and time period for this project. I had another idea surrounding a chinese brush painter, but ultimately went with the Wing Chun origin story because it’d be fun to pose and it has a strong lady protag. :’)
Free display Chinese Coins from the Scholar’s Study is now open in Gallery 7. Learn how coin collecting developed in China during the Song dynasty (960–1279) when the imperial court had a great enthusiasm for the past and antiquities.
Coins were considered the height of scholarly antiques as they were direct witnesses to history and their appreciation required a certain cultural knowledge, including the study of their ancient inscriptions. The inscriptions follow the evolution of the different Chinese calligraphic styles and were traced by famous calligraphers - and occasionally even the emperor himself.
This brass coin-shaped amulet from the Qing dynasty (ad 1644–1911) would have been used as a gift for a young scholar preparing to take the imperial examinations. The iconography on Chinese amulets is often symbolic, and this one is a rebus. A bat (fu), a deer (lu), a peach (shou) and a spider (xi) are all homonymous to “Fu lu shou xi” 福祿壽喜; “(May you have) good fortune, an official’s career, longevity and happiness”.
Coin collections could include early coins in the shape of spades or knives, coins transformed into charms and amulets, as well as foreign coins from Japan, Korea and Vietnam.
Hi all! It’s been a very long time since I last posted anything on this blog. This is not a dead blog and I appreciate all of your support when I was away. Also, I am happy to see more new followers joining this blog, I hope you enjoy my posts.
This post is dedicated to the Nguyen dynasty of Vietnam. I believe they are colorized in recent years which help of technological advancement. I found these photos on the internet, so again, I don’t possess any rights over these images. If anyone requests me to take them down due to copyright reasons, I will do it immediately.
Another album will be uploaded soon! Stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted!
In the past, a few people have asked me where they can find ancient jewelry for sale. While auction houses such as Christie’s, Bonhams, and Sotheby’s certainly offer ancient jewelry in their lots, not everyone can afford to buy genuine artifacts, myself included! I’ve thus done quite a bit of online sleuthing, searching for high-quality reproductions, and I thought I’d share what I’ve found with you all. Happy shopping!