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Jade Clothes Sewn with Golden Threads

Jade Clothes Sewn with Golden Threads

As a symbol of class, jade suits were used as garments for deceased emperors and nobility in Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD), which fitted to the wearer's shape. The emperor wore the garment sewn with golden thread, and kings and princess wore silver ones, while other officials and nobles had ones sewn with copper threads, which were called Jade Clothes Sewn with Silver Thread, and Jade Clothes Sewn with Copper Threads, respectively. people in Han Dynasty believed that jade had absorbed the essence of mountains, so jade was put on the dead body of the deceased to preserve the body for the after life. Therefore, jade suit played an important role in jade articles. Up to now, over twenty jade suits have been discovered in China, among which the Jade Clothes Sewn with Golden Threads of Liu Sheng, Duke Zhongshan in Han Dynasty is the earliest and finest.
This 188 cm long Jade Clothes Sewn with Golden Threads was unearthed in the Tomb of the Duke Zhongshan, in Mancheng County, Hebei Province, north of China in 1968.
Composed of six parts, the hood, coat, sleeves, gloves, trousers and shoots, with altogether 2, 498 pieces of jade and 1, 100 grams of gold threads, the jade suit has eye covers, nose stopples and covers for the reproductive organ and the anus. The whole suit was rimmed with red threads and the iron rim on the trouser legs was particularly for fixation. The face cover was carved with holes in the form of eyes, nose and mouth. The suit is broader in the chest and back, and bulging in the hips, completely ht to the various parts of the body.
The jade suit was delicately designed, with jade slices orderly lined and harmoniously colored, reflecting the excellent techniques of the craftsmen and the extravagant lives of the nobles. This jade suit is now collected by the Antique Research Center of Hebei province.
According to an ancient Chinese belief, if a man had put on clothes made of jade pieces sewn together with gold threads when he died, his remains would never go rotten.
In 1968, Chinese archaeologists working in Mancheng, Hebei Province, found such clothes in a tomb buried with the remains of Liu Sheng, a prince of Western Han Dynasty, and those of his wife, Dou Pass. Only a few teeth and a pile of bones were left of the remains while the jade clothes remained intact. Liu's clothes were made of a total of 2, 498 pieces of jade, sewn together with lengths of thread that is 96 percent gold, 4 to 5 cm in length and 0. 35-0. 5 mm in diameter. There were also soft and sturdy gold threads 0. 08-0. 13 mm in diameter. It cost about 1, 100 grams of gold. Judging from the technology of today, it takes an entire decade for an artisan to finish making such piece of jade clothes.