Bat Kingfisher Pin
The beautiful, bright blue feathers from the kingfisher bird have been used for over 2,000 years in China. The feathers would act as an inlay on jewelry, hair ornaments, fans, and more. This method is called “tian-tsui.” The intricate frame of the hairpin is created with copper, then the feather is then precisely cut to shape and glued down. Hairpins were a popular use of these feathers and they were worn by both genders. Due to the almost-extinction of the kingfisher population, and the effect the craft had on the eyesight of artisans, their creation ended in the 1940s.
This hairpin has an upside-down bat on top, with a floral motif below it. The piece is decorated with small coral beads.
Circa: 19th century
Material: Copper, Kingfisher feather, and Coral
Condition: Very Good, some feather missing
Dimensions: 3" H x 2.25" W
Inventory number: JL3834