Friday, January 13, 2017

Ancient Chinese Etiquette

One Han Dynasty Ring, helped Royal subjects follow proper rules of Court Etiquette 

The Smithsonian Institution has received a gilt of a great antiquity from the Chinese Minister. It is a "jade" ring, about ten inches in diameter and one-eighth of an inch in thickness, with a hollow centre about four inches in diameter. It is of a pale hue. The ring is known as the "Han Pek" jewel of the dynasty of Han, an old-time monarch of 3500 year's ago.

Court officials of that day, when an audience was accorded them by the Emperor, held the ring with both hands and thrust their fingers into the opening to guard against moving their hands while addressing the throne, the emphasizing of their remarks by flourishes of their hands, presumably being contrary to official etiquette. The ring was used as an emblem of submission, or respect, for the sovereign. It was recently unearthed from a sepulchre, having been buried with the owner. – New York Sun, 1899

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia