Leather Accessories Using Chinese Knots - Made in Australia

Photo: Courtesy of​ Minneapolis Institute of Arts

A Portrait impression of the First Emperor from the eighteenth century album Lidai diwang xiang​ (Portraits of emperors throughtout dynasties). No images of the First Emperor survive from his time.

Emperor Qin (pronounced Chin - Qin Shi Huangdi) was the first self proclaimed emperor of China and reigned from 221 BCE to 206 BCE. He brought together all the warring states (around 200) uniting them as a nation.  The period which he reigned is known as The Qin (Chin) Dynasty. ​ The Qin dynasty introduced several reforms including the standardisation of weights and measures; the use of currency was started; and a better more unified system of writing (standardising the size and  shape) was established. Qin Shi Huangdi’s tomb contains the now famous terracotta warriors.       

Chinese Knotting originally had a functional role such as that used for clasps and fastenings. Later, as people began to appreciate their artistic merit they were being used to ornament lots of everyday items such as sword hilts to teapots, lady's fans to temple walls, and peasant coats to the hairpins in the empress's hair.  ​ The perishable nature of the materials used means that we have no hard evidence, however, we know they were used because they appeared on early bronze vessels, paintings and other sculptures. In addition to its functional and practical uses it is symbolic and represents an ideal of well-being, good luck and health, longevity and harmony. As gifts, they are emotional, sentimental, and are often keepsakes between lovers and friends. From the found artefacts it can be said that knots were an inherent and integral part of everyday life of the Chinese peopl

Emperor Qin's Knots