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Noble in Chinese Calligraphy, Big Seal Script

Noble in Chinese Calligraphy, Big Seal Script Calligrapher: Ding Shimei

Noble in Chinese Calligraphy, Big Seal Script

Calligrapher: Ding Shimei"

120cm X 27cm

Chinese sovereignty and peerage, the nobility of China, were an important feature of traditional social and political organization of Chinese civilization. While the concepts of hereditary sovereign and peerage titles and noble families were featured as early as the semi-mythical, early historical period, a settled system of nobility was established from the Zhou Dynasty. 

In the subsequent millennia, this system was largely maintained in form, with some changes and additions, although the content constantly evolved. The last, well-developed system of noble titles was established under the Qing Dynasty. 

Chinese Noble

The CE 1911 republican Xinhai Revolution saw the dissolution of the nobility along with the totality of the official imperial system. Though some noble families maintained their titles and dignity for a time, new political and economic circumstances forced their decline.

The fact that most existing nobles were of the Manchu ethnicity, a ruling elite under the Qing Dynasty, but an ethnic minority like any other under the new Republic, resulted in minimal popular recognition of their nobility. Today, the nobility as a class is almost entirely dissipated in China, and only a very few maintain any pretense or claim to noble titles, which are almost universally unrecognized.


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 July 2011 03:32