Home / Albums / Tag Occupations /

A Mandarin of Distinction

A Mandarin of Distinction.jpg A WatchmanThumbnailsInterior of a Silver mine in MexicoA WatchmanThumbnailsInterior of a Silver mine in Mexico

The dress of a Chinese is suited to the gravity of his demeanour.
It consists, in general, of a long veil: extending to the ankle: the sleeves are wide at the shoulder, are gradually narrower at the wrist, and are rounded off in the form of a horse-shoe, covering the whole hand when it is not lifted up. No man of `rank` is allowed to appear in public without boots which have no heels, and are made of satin, silk, or calico. In full dress, he wears a long silk gown, generally of a blue colour and heavily embroidered; over this is placed a surcoat of silk, which reaches to the hand, and descends below the knee. From his neck is suspended a string of costly coral beads. His cap is edged with satin, velvet, or fur, and on the crown is a red ball with a peacock’s feather hanging from it. These are badges of distinction conferred by the emperor. The embroidered bird upon the breast is worn only by mandarins high in civil `rank`, while the military mandarins are distinguished by an embroidered dragon. All colours are not suffered to be worn indiscriminately. The emperor, and the princes of the blood only, are allowed to wear yellow; although violet colour is sometimes chosen by mandarins of `rank` on days of ceremony.

The Costume of China
By George Hery Mafon
Published in 1800
Available from archive.org