Yue Pei with Dragon Motif Traced on Gold - Detail

Hubei Provincial Museum

Hubei Provincial Museum
Wuhan, China

Jade girdles (玉佩, yupei) were made of multiple jade pieces strung together and worn around the waist. They would hang down on both sides of the belt. By making it impossible to move quickly, they would train the wearer to adopt a dignified posture. During the grand ceremonies of the Ming dynasty, all the notables would wear jade girdles hanging from their ceremonial robes.

This jade girdle, used by Prince Zhuang, is decorated with a fine intaglio pattern outlined in gold. Elegant dragon patterns are caved on the jade ornaments, and each dragon has five-claws, the mark of the emperor. This girdle is composed of 1 jade hook, 10 jade ornaments, and 412 jade beads. This girdle contains exactly one more jade stone than the jade girdle worn by the crown prince. This girdle would have matched the robes worn by the emperor and may have been a gift from the court.

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  • Title: Yue Pei with Dragon Motif Traced on Gold - Detail
  • Location: Tomb of Prince Zhuang of Liang, Zhongxiang City, Hubei Province
  • Medium: Jade
  • Excavation Date: 2001
  • Dynasty: Ming Dynasty, 1368-1644
  • Dimensions: Length after restoration: 80cm, total weight: 359.1g