Dating from the Ming Dynasty, the Phoenix Crown was worn as a 'disguise' to 'trick the evil spirits'. Originally crafted from pheasant and peacock feathers (to represent the legendary phoenix)gold, pearls and butterflies were also added to symbolize strength, prosperity and fertility. Still worn in traditional wedding ceremonies, it was originally only made for the Empress. This piece incorporates real feathers (although I couldn't seem to find any phoenix feathers). The snakes and crown trim were painstakenly sculpted of a clay formula (double medium) and attached to the painting. This work is gallery wrapped over a frame.
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