I was perusing the excellent online catalog at the British Museum (nice online image distribution system for educational use, by the way). I found this intriguing image of “A Chinese Lady,” printed after a painting by Allan Ramsey. I am not versed at all in the fashions of various Chinese cultural groups from the mid-18th century; however, she does not have the trappings of a Han woman. She wears no ao and skirt, or pao, the garments I identify with Chinese women’s traditional dress. Whatever circumstance brought this woman to be painted and then produced into print, I love the amalgamation of various European components in her dress. She appears to wear a man’s shirt, over which a handkerchief is draped, with a pearl necklace at the throat. Attached over the front is a Western stomacher (perhaps it’s a bodice of some sort, as lines over the shoulder insinuate thin straps), rich with ribbon detail and bows attached at the corners. Another handkerchief, this one with a pattern, envelopes her hair. A brief search online did not reveal the original painting by Ramsay – perhaps it no longer exists, or resides in a private collection.