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Hat Feather with Box
Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Black lacquer, peacock feather, silk thread
(a) Feather): 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm)
(b) Box): 1 3/4 x 16 in. (4.4 x 40.6 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Henry-George J. McNeary, 1966
Not on view
This elaborate, tubular lacquered box was intended as a storage container for an official's hat feather. The large, encircled characters in archaic style on one side of the container refer to "three eyes"—a hat feather with three peacock-feather eyes, which signified the highest honor. The work is an example of the Qing period's enthusiasm for archaism.