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Chinese Hairpins

Chinese hairpins, referred to as “ji," were particularly popular among Chinese men and women during the Han period, which started in 206 B.C. At that time, the way a woman dressed and chose to ornament herself was very important to display her social status. Women were expected to be neat and elegant, and to choose accessories that would complement her facial features. The social status of men was also flaunted by use of decorative accessories like hairpins.

Chinese decorative hairpins were made with a wide variety of materials including jade, bone, ceramic, silver, and wood. Over time, these hairpins developed in size and looked like crowns with kingfisher feathers and many colorful ornaments dangling from the end, and a wide diadem that became popular during the Tang dynasty (618-916 A.D.).

Hairpins, used to secure hair into a bun and also for decoration, was also symbolic of marriage. Prior to becoming of age to marry, young women are considered girls and are not given decorative hairpins. However, when a woman becomes 15, she receives her first hairpin. Henceforth this pin symbolizes that she is ready to be married. Hairpins are also presented by the woman to her significant other during the time of engagement in order to signify her betrothal to him.


Quick Facts

  • Before the Qing dynasty, everyone, female and male, wore their hair in a bun secured by a ji hairpin
  • High-ranked women often wore a pin called “buyao” which was decorated very intricately and had many dangling attachments that shook as they walked. A buyao was usually made of gold, pearl, and jade
  • Often, when lovers parted, they would break a hairpin in half so that each could hold onto one half until they were reunited

Recommended Items at Auction

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CHINESE SILVER GILT KINGFISHER HAIRPINS
Dec 14, 9:00 AM CST
CHINESE SILVER GILT KINGFISHER HAIRPINS
by Jackson's International
Est: $250- $350
$3505 Bids
CHINESE KINGFISHER HAIRPINS AND BRACELET
Dec 14, 9:00 AM CST
CHINESE KINGFISHER HAIRPINS AND BRACELET
by Jackson's International
Est: $100- $150
$1103 Bids
CHINESE KINGFISHER HAIRPINS
Dec 14, 9:00 AM CST
CHINESE KINGFISHER HAIRPINS
by Jackson's International
Est: $75- $150
$803 Bids
LARGE CHINESE KINGFISHER HAIRPIN
Dec 14, 9:00 AM CST
LARGE CHINESE KINGFISHER HAIRPIN
by Jackson's International
Est: $100- $150
$1002 Bids
CHINESE KINGFISHER HAIRPINS 19TH & 20TH C
Dec 14, 9:00 AM CST
CHINESE KINGFISHER HAIRPINS 19TH & 20TH C
by Jackson's International
Est: $150- $250
$1402 Bids
CHINESE KINGFISHER HAIRPINS
Dec 14, 9:00 AM CST
CHINESE KINGFISHER HAIRPINS
by Jackson's International
Est: $200- $250
$1902 Bids
A collection of seven Chinese jade and jadeite hairpins, 18th/19th century
Dec 04, 9:00 AM EST
A collection of seven Chinese jade and jadeite hairpins, 18th/19th century
by Oakridge Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $200
$1002 Bids
A Fine Hair Pin
Dec 10, 6:00 PM CST
A Fine Hair Pin
by Kelmscott's
Est: $600- $800
$3000 Bids
4 CHINESE CARVED JADE HAIRPINS
Dec 14, 9:00 AM CST
4 CHINESE CARVED JADE HAIRPINS
by Jackson's International
Est: $200- $300
$1800 Bids
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1 PAAR HAARNADELN
Dec 15, 9:00 AM CET
1 PAAR HAARNADELN
by Schuler Auktionen
Est: CHF400- CHF600
CHF4000 Bids
Chinese Hair Pin
Dec 03, 1:00 PM EST
Chinese Hair Pin
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $850- $8,500
$8500 Bids
Chinese Enamel Hairpin
Dec 03, 1:00 PM EST
Chinese Enamel Hairpin
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $50- $500
$500 Bids
A Chinese celadon and russet jadeite hair ornament and pin 2 3/4 and 5 1/2 in. (6.99 and 13.97 cm.)
Dec 14, 9:00 PM PST
A Chinese celadon and russet jadeite hair ornament and pin 2 3/4 and 5 1/2 in. (6.99 and 13.97 cm.)
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $80- $120
$500 Bids
Antique / Vintage Chinese Coral / Turquoise Silver Hair Ornament
Dec 04, 1:00 PM EST
Antique / Vintage Chinese Coral / Turquoise Silver Hair Ornament
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $600- $6,000
$6000 Bids
Antique Silver Hairpin
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
Antique Silver Hairpin
by Rose's Antiques
Est: $100- $200
$750 Bids
A large gilt silver hair pin. Qing dynasty
Dec 09, 11:00 AM CET
A large gilt silver hair pin. Qing dynasty
by Kunsthaus Lempertz KG
Est: €450- €650
€3000 Bids
CHINESE HETIAN JADE HAIRPIN WITH CARVED 'ANIMAL MASK'
Dec 09, 9:30 AM EST
CHINESE HETIAN JADE HAIRPIN WITH CARVED 'ANIMAL MASK'
by Merces Gallery LLC
Est: $1,200- $3,000
$7500 Bids
CHINESE CORAL-EMBELLISHED GILT-SILVER HAIRPIN
Dec 09, 9:30 AM EST
CHINESE CORAL-EMBELLISHED GILT-SILVER HAIRPIN
by Merces Gallery LLC
Est: $400- $1,000
$3000 Bids
CHINESE HETIAN JADE HAIRPIN WITH CARVED 'PHOENIX'
Dec 09, 9:30 AM EST
CHINESE HETIAN JADE HAIRPIN WITH CARVED 'PHOENIX'
by Merces Gallery LLC
Est: $1,600- $4,000
$1,0000 Bids
4 CHINESE CARVED JADE HAIRPINS
Dec 14, 9:00 AM CST
4 CHINESE CARVED JADE HAIRPINS
by Jackson's International
Est: $150- $250
$1300 Bids
Antique Qing Dynasty Silver Hair Pin
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
Antique Qing Dynasty Silver Hair Pin
by Rose's Antiques
Est: $400- $600
$1000 Bids
Antique Qing Dynasty Enamel Bird Silver Hairpin
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
Antique Qing Dynasty Enamel Bird Silver Hairpin
by Rose's Antiques
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
Antique Qing Dynasty Enamel Bird Silver Hairpin
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
Antique Qing Dynasty Enamel Bird Silver Hairpin
by Rose's Antiques
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
Antique Qing Dynasty Enamel Bird Silver Hairpin
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
Antique Qing Dynasty Enamel Bird Silver Hairpin
by Rose's Antiques
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Chinese Hairpins


Jackson's International

Jackson's International

Rose's Antiques

Rose's Antiques

Merces Gallery LLC

Merces Gallery LLC

Walnut Tree Auction House, Inc

Walnut Tree Auction House, Inc