Monday, June 7, 2010

Tales Of The Jeweled Ring

It all began in my quest for the ultimate ring...

Not your everyday type of ring but a special ring that would stand out among others with an edgier look. And so, straight away the empress of China, Empress Dowager Ci Xi came into my mind.

She's the powerfull and charasmatic figure who became the ruler of Manchu (Qing Dynasty) in China for 47 years from 1861 to her death in 1908. But of course I'm not going to talk about her ruling era, I am more interested in her bejeweled adornments. In this case, her nail protector (guard) which she uses to protect her extra long nails.

In ancient China, long nails represents noble and wealth. Only ladies of the noble and wealthy families are able to grow long nails because they didn't need to do housework. Nail protectors were worn by the Qing Empress Dowager Ci Xi and normally these were made of gold and gems.

The above figure is the lovely Chen Fei the Pearl Concubine, who was a friend, lover and the Imperial Consort of Emperor Kwang Hsu. Although she was favored by the Emperor, her story was a real sad one as she met a very sad end in 1900. As depicted here, she is also wearing some nails protector too.

I was thinking that these nail protectors were quite cool and look very sexy if wear on the pinky finger! Alas, I finally made one but I loathe it very much! It was not comfortable and my pinky little finger felt very stiff and my movements were constraint by it! Sorry for not posting any pictures of it though...

However, if you do interested in these adornments, I've found a beautiful one on Etsy!

To be continued...




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