Silver Adornments to the Crowning Glory
Decorative hairpins come in ingenious styles that are both functional and ornamental. Those most common are the Shuangding, Ruyi, Bianfang, Tongqi, Panji, and Earpick hairpins. The double-headed Shuanding is ease of use, whereby it secures the hair at either end, makes it generally the most popular.
Ruyi Hairpin(the Kylin carrying a baby to the mother)
The Ruyi hairpin, in the intricate shape of the Chinese character ruyi meaning good luck, is considered a more elegant hair ornament. As the designs on its head are often those of "the Kylin carrying a baby to the mother", and "Immortals for Union and Harmony", it is usually worn by married women.
The Tongqi hairpin is distinct in being cone-shaped, hollow and decorated with small emblazoned holes for ventilation, a design both scientific and practical.
Immortals for Union and Harmony
Earpick (with flower desgin)
Qing Dynasty Earpick
The Earpick hairpin functions as both headwear and earpick. Those worn by noble ladies were delicately made in elegant shapes, and either inlaid with jade and pearls, or enameled.
(Source: cnci.gov.cn / Translated by womenofchina.cn)The long, straight Bianfang hairpin worn by women of the Manchu ethnicity features in the "Qi Tou" banner head. There are no recorded instances of women of the Han ethnicity wearing Bianfang. Many collections of Bianfang in a smaller more ornate style, however, originate in Han-inhabited areas. There are two possible reasons for this: Manchu and Han cultural exchanges during the Qing Dynasty, or simply that Han women themselves devised such ornaments.