101 • A Ming Official’s Travelling Hat-Stand

China, 17th century
Size: 28 cm high
Hanghuali wood and bone

Ming officials travelled all over the vast territory of China, bothering the locals wherever they arrived about what they produced and therefore how much tax was owed. Their travel was hard, and they were always unwelcome. All the more reason to appear immaculately dressed. This discreet stand was opened out at night in the inn, and served to keep the Mandarin’s hat in good shape.