Empress Xiaokemin (Wan Rong,) last Qing empress of China on her wedding day. She was married at 16 to Puyi, the final emperor in the Qing dynasty, and would later become the empress of the puppet state Manchukuo in the 1930s and 1940s. She was an educated woman who was fluent in English and loved to write letters to her friends, read mystery novels, dabble in photography, and play the piano. She died as a political prisoner at 39 years old.
Phoenix crown worn by the Ming Dynasty Empress Xiaoduan. She was the wife of Emperor Wanli who reigned from 1573 to 1620. The enameled crown is decorated with pearls and turquoise. There is another view on the next page.
Empress Cixi’s Fan, late 18th-19th century (Qing Dynasty 1644-1911), China. Composed of silk and bamboo. In the Vatican Museums, Vatican City. Empress Dowager Cixi (1861-1908) is widely recognised as one of the most powerful women in the history of China.