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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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Antique 19th C Tibetan Hair Ornament Sterling Silver Turquoise Gold And Corals
Apr 13, 12:00 PM EDT
Antique 19th C Tibetan Hair Ornament Sterling Silver Turquoise Gold And Corals
by RB Fine Arts
Est: $50- $250
$12010 Bids
Chinese Kingfisher Feather Hairpins 14 pcs
Apr 18, 11:00 AM EDT
Chinese Kingfisher Feather Hairpins 14 pcs
by DuMouchelles
Est: $150- $300
$702 Bids
玉花片髮簪
Apr 21, 1:00 PM CST
玉花片髮簪
by Treasure Art
Est: NT$0- NT$0
NT$1,0000 Bids
Chinese Natural Hetian Jade Carved Phoenix Hair Decoration
Apr 14, 1:00 PM EDT
Chinese Natural Hetian Jade Carved Phoenix Hair Decoration
by Quan Rong Gallery
Est: $200- $300
$1990 Bids
Silver Hardstone Inlaid Hairpin
Apr 18, 2:00 PM PDT
Silver Hardstone Inlaid Hairpin
by Walnut Tree Auction House, Inc
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$7000 Bids
CHINESE GILT-SILVER HAIRPIN, 'FILIGREE'
Apr 15, 9:30 AM EDT
CHINESE GILT-SILVER HAIRPIN, 'FILIGREE'
by Merces Gallery LLC
Est: $1,200- $3,000
$9000 Bids
TWO CHINESE GILT-SILVER HAIRPINS, 'PHOENIX'
Apr 15, 9:30 AM EDT
TWO CHINESE GILT-SILVER HAIRPINS, 'PHOENIX'
by Merces Gallery LLC
Est: $8,000- $15,000
$3,5000 Bids
A Set Of Three Gilding Silver Hairpins
Apr 20, 3:30 PM PDT
A Set Of Three Gilding Silver Hairpins
by China Arts Auction
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$1,0000 Bids
CHINA - CLOISONNE ENAMEL AND GREEN JADE HAIRPIN WITH FEATHER DESIGN, QING PERIOD.
Apr 27, 11:00 AM CEST
CHINA - CLOISONNE ENAMEL AND GREEN JADE HAIRPIN WITH FEATHER DESIGN, QING PERIOD.
by Goldfield Auction
Est: €400- €600
€4000 Bids
A Chinese Carved Jade Hair Clasp
Apr 20, 8:00 PM EDT
A Chinese Carved Jade Hair Clasp
by Annabel's Galleries Inc.
Est: $800- $1,000
$4000 Bids
A WHITE JADE 'PHOENIX' HAIRPIN 明或以前.白玉鳳紋髮簪
Apr 14, 3:00 PM CST
A WHITE JADE 'PHOENIX' HAIRPIN 明或以前.白玉鳳紋髮簪
by Ethereal Auctioneers
Est: NT$5,000- NT$10,000
NT$5,0000 Bids
CHINESE JADEITE HAIRPIN, 'FLORAL'
Apr 23, 9:30 AM EDT
CHINESE JADEITE HAIRPIN, 'FLORAL'
by Merces Gallery LLC
Est: $1,000- $2,500
$7500 Bids
CHINESE GILT-SILVER HAIRPIN, 'FLORAL'
Apr 23, 9:30 AM EDT
CHINESE GILT-SILVER HAIRPIN, 'FLORAL'
by Merces Gallery LLC
Est: $3,500- $8,500
$2,2500 Bids
CHINESE GILT-SILVER HAIRPIN, 'FU SHOU'
Apr 23, 9:30 AM EDT
CHINESE GILT-SILVER HAIRPIN, 'FU SHOU'
by Merces Gallery LLC
Est: $1,200- $3,000
$9000 Bids
TWO CHINESE GILT-SILVER HAIRPINS, 'RUYI'
Apr 23, 9:30 AM EDT
TWO CHINESE GILT-SILVER HAIRPINS, 'RUYI'
by Merces Gallery LLC
Est: $1,500- $3,500
$1,1000 Bids
TWO CHINESE MIXED GEMSTONES-INLAID GILT-SILVER HAIRPINS, 'FLORAL'
Apr 23, 9:30 AM EDT
TWO CHINESE MIXED GEMSTONES-INLAID GILT-SILVER HAIRPINS, 'FLORAL'
by Merces Gallery LLC
Est: $2,750- $6,000
$1,8000 Bids
Two Chinese Carved Jade Hair Pins
Apr 20, 10:00 AM CDT
Two Chinese Carved Jade Hair Pins
by Link Auction Galleries
Est: $150- $250
$750 Bids
CHINESE GILT-SILVER HAIRPIN
Apr 15, 9:30 AM EDT
CHINESE GILT-SILVER HAIRPIN
by Merces Gallery LLC
Est: $10,000- $24,000
$5,0000 Bids
A Chinese Carved Jade Hairpin
Apr 20, 8:00 PM EDT
A Chinese Carved Jade Hairpin
by Annabel's Galleries Inc.
Est: $700- $900
$3000 Bids
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A FINE CLOISONNE ENAMEL BUTTERFLY FIGURE HAIRPIN
May 04, 10:00 AM EDT
A FINE CLOISONNE ENAMEL BUTTERFLY FIGURE HAIRPIN
by William's Auctions, LLC
Est: $30- $45
$150 Bids
Antique Qing Dynasty Enamel Bird Silver Hairpin
Apr 14, 12:00 PM EDT
Antique Qing Dynasty Enamel Bird Silver Hairpin
by Rose's Antiques
Est: $200- $400
$300 Bids
Antique Qing Dynasty Enamel Bird Silver Hairpin
Apr 14, 12:00 PM EDT
Antique Qing Dynasty Enamel Bird Silver Hairpin
by Rose's Antiques
Est: $200- $400
$300 Bids
Antique Chinese Silver Hair Pin
Apr 14, 12:00 PM EDT
Antique Chinese Silver Hair Pin
by Rose's Antiques
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
Two Chinese Qing Dynasty Hetian Jade Hair Pins
Apr 27, 9:30 AM EDT
Two Chinese Qing Dynasty Hetian Jade Hair Pins
by Luban Antique
Est: $100- $200
$200 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Chinese Hairpins


Merces Gallery LLC

Merces Gallery LLC

Rose's Antiques

Rose's Antiques

William's Auctions, LLC

William's Auctions, LLC

Annabel's Galleries Inc.

Annabel's Galleries Inc.