Hearst Museum Portal

Pair of red “ho-pao” (perfume) pouches

Museum number:
Alternate number:
V1 -26 (original number, 9-21274d,e), VI - 12a,b (original number, 9-21274a,b), VI - 17 (original number, 9-21274c), VI - 27 (original number, 9-21274f), and VII - 5 (original number, 9-21274g)
Accession number:
Object count:
a & b: Pair of red “ho-pao” (perfume) pouches. Kidney-shape, characteristic of “ho-pao”, attained by gathering the neck of the vase-shaped bag in up to 15 folds, here 7. Drawstring (s) missing. Identical front and back have peony applique in various shades of green and tinted white satin. Anthers in long stitch and Peking knots. Pouch lined with red cotton material, top edge with silk. Width: 9.5cm; height: 8cm. c: Red-and-blue purse. Bottom: red satin with appliqued peony, some Peking knots, and stem stitch. Top: blue satin sewn over the red with forward stitching and 0.5cm farther up, a row of sets of 3 running stitches, all in mouse grey. Top opening of purse rounded. Sides stiffened with cardboard and lined with sized-cotton fabric in off-white. Width at bottom: 7cm; at top: 8.5cm; greatest height: 9.1cm. d & e: Round case, for thumb ring for archery? d: Bottom part covered with sapphire-blue satin; lined with moon-blue, glazed cotton fabric, glued in. e: Lid covered with red satin. Sides decorated with appliqued peonies in green, aquamarine and variously tinted white satin, and Peking knots for anthers. Top has a coin applique of white and blue strips of satin. The 24.5cm long double hanging-cord is yellow which suggests use by a member of the imperial family. Two 15cm long ends of cord hang down from the blue box. They are wound with wired threads in the traditional color scheme of white, blueand black; first togethr, then separately. The ends are simply cut and frayed. Lid: 4.2cm diameter, 5.1cm H. f: Fan case, containing g. Red satin with applique of greenish, maize, and sometimes tinted, white satin. Also satin stitch and Peking knots. Pattern: Bat over peonies and other flowers. Open top edge in cloud form. The original yellow cord-hanger, suggesting use by a member of the imperial family, has been cut off. Black velvet lining. Length: 27.5cm; width of cloud: 5cm; bottom: 2.3cm. g: Stick for circular fan, rests inside f. Hard, but light wood, lacquered dark brown (olive wood?). Split starts in the center of Han-tile shaped plaque at top of handle. Above it, two verses: “On an autumnal day halfway through the year, the Five Lakes have the appearance of fall; I lay away my fishing pole, and in the west wind the landscape seems utterly deserted.” Of the writing on the othr prong, only good-luck wishes are legible. A rivet in the center of the Han tile on top is to pierce the silk of the fan. Overall length: 24.7cm; diameter of the Han tile: 2.3cm.
Ilse Martin Fang
Collection place:
Peking, Beijing province, China
Verbatim coll. place:
China. Given to Ilse Fang in Peking by Erich Wolters, antique dealer, in 1942 (a & b, f); in 1943 (g); and in 1944 (c). d and e were purchased by Ilse Fang in Peking in 1944.
Culture or time period:
Ilse Martin Fang
Collection date:
Cotton (textile), Embroidery, Satin, and Wood (plant material)
Object type:
2.2 Personal Adornments and Accoutrements
Accession date:
December 15, 1998
Context of use:
Set of accoutrements. Fide: Ilse M. Fang, 8/28/2001: d & e may be case for thumb ring for archery, or for bronze or gold knob for cap.
Cat. 9 - Asia (incl. Russia east of Urals)
Exhibit Label - 2019 - Krisa Fredrickson Incense Pop-Up Set of perfume pouches worn around the neck for their pleasurable fragrance, ability to ward off evil, and as insect repellent. This example has messages of good luck.