L400xW100mm, China

The lady’s headband, Mei Lei, was most popular in Ming and Qing dynasty.  Thanks to the television drama, it is often associated as the costume of the granny, Mei Lei actually was a very fashionable item for women of all ages.  When it was at the height of fashion many style of Mei Lei appeared; black silk with gemstone, cloth patchwork with pearl, gold and gemstone, cloth or silk with embroidery, fur with gemstone, beaded, etc.  Like the snuff bottle for men, the headband was an accessory of status symbol.  As a functional item, the Mei Lei can keep the hair tidy as well as keep warm.  This particular Mei Lei is made of glass bead with a cloth lining on the inside.