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CAO, Xueqin

The Golden Days

gleaming like some fairy princess with sparkling jewels and gay embroideries. Her chignon was enclosed in a circlet of gold filigree and clustered pearls. It was fastened with a pin embellished with flying phoenixes, from whose beaks pearls were suspended on tiny chains. Her necklet was of red gold in the form of a coiling dragon. Her dress had a fitted bodice and was made of dark red silk damask with a pattern of flowers and butterflies in raised gold thread. Her jacket was lined with ermine. It was of a slate-blue stuff with woven insets in coloured silks. Her under-skirt was of a turquoise-coloured imported silk crêpe embroidered with flowers.