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Mandarin Court Necklace-Qing Dynasty Cultural Icon

If one were to pick a single symbol or ‘cultural icon’ to represent the 268 years of the Qing Dynasty, the Mandarin Court Necklace would certainly be on the short list. This pictorial timeline, shows that the necklace is a ‘constant’ throughout the reign of all 12 of the Emperors and Consorts.

The beginning of the Qing Dynasty starts with Emperor Shunzhi who was 5 years old when he became Emperor in 1644.

“Legend has it that the Court necklace was patterned after a mala (a string of Tibetan prayer beads) that were given to Emperor Shunzhi (1644-1661) as a gift from the Dalai Lama.” PrivateCollection

In 1653, the 10th year of the reign of the Emperor Shunzhi of the Qing dynasty, the 5th Dalai Lama, who had reached Beijing in the previous year, was granted an honorific title plus a golden certificate of appointment and a golden seal of authority by the Qing imperial court.

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