Friends who like to watch the Qing Palace Opera will notice that the ladies in the harem of the Qing Dynasty will wear a long nail cover all day long, and they will not wear it only when they are in a situation of failure-for example, in”Zhen Huan Biography”, Zhen Huan was sent When I came to the temple to practice, I didn’t wear a long nail cover. According to the photos left in the late Qing Dynasty, we can clearly see that Empress Dowager Cixi also wears such long nail covers. This shows that wearing this nail cover is not a fiction of future generations, but it is true.
But why are Qing Dynasty concubines keen to wear long nail covers? The reasons are as follows. The first point. Identification. In the feudal dynasty, there was a strict hierarchy, whether it was society, the court, or the harem. These levels are refined into clothing and clothing. This includes nail covers. There is a big gap between the workmanship and materials of nail covers:for example, the queen’s and queen’s nail covers use the best materials and the most complicated techniques;
The imperial concubine is slightly worse, and the standard is lowered step by step. At the most basic level of concubines and court ladies, there is no right to wear nail covers. In addition, there are also standards for the length of nail covers. The higher the level, the longer the nail covers. This provision provided some convenience to the emperor’s life. There are many women in the emperor’s harem, so the emperor may not be able to remember the specific level of each concubine. However, the existence of nail covers can allow the emperor to easily determine the level of the other party.
The second point. The privilege is manifested. In ancient times, ordinary workers needed labor—so-called male farming and female weaving. Therefore, the nails of the ancient laborers were very short, because they would not be conducive to productive labor. In order to show their privileges, the ruler has the custom of”bringing armor”, showing that he is not the same as the laborer and does not need to rely on farming and weaving for life. This ethos originated in the Warring States Period.
At first, a few nobles had long nails. The other nobles started to keep long nails in order to show that their living standards were not bad. . Over time, in this atmosphere of comparison, raising armor has become a fashion. In the Qing Dynasty, it also became a norm for the harem. The third point. It’s all about aesthetics. Since ancient times, people with leisure and elegance will constantly seek beauty in their lives, discover beauty, and create a series of aesthetic systems-the hairdressing and nail art that modern people are passionate about, which is actually the continuation of this tradition.
The Empress Dowager Cixi in the late Qing Dynasty also played a new trick on the nail cover. As early as the reign of Emperor Jiaqing of the Qing Dynasty, the Forbidden City was attacked by Tianliists, and Emperor Jiaqing was almost assassinated. This made the Empress Dowager Cixi deeply feel that the guards around her may not be able to guarantee their safety 100%. Therefore, the Empress Dowager Cixi developed the nail cover into a”weapon”. You can use the nail cover to scratch the other person, and then the anesthetic will make the assassin lose its attack power for a short time.