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    Sale 2108

    The Imperial Wardrobe: Fine Chinese Costume And Textiles From The Linda Wrigglesworth Collection

    19 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 77

    A FINE EMBROIDERED MANCHU WOMAN'S INFORMAL CORNFLOWER-BLUE SILK LONG VEST

    MID-19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A FINE EMBROIDERED MANCHU WOMAN'S INFORMAL CORNFLOWER-BLUE SILK LONG VEST
    MID-19TH CENTURY
    Finely embroidered front and back with double-gourds in couched gold-wrapped thread borne on leafy vines with green tendrils against a ground of rich cornflower-blue silk, within black borders of similar gourd vines interspersed with shuangxi (Double Happiness) symbols bordered in ribbon woven with flowers and butterflies, lined in salmon-colored silk
    56½ in. (143.5 cm.) long


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    The shimmering double-gourds, delicately rendered in luxurious gold-wrapped thread, provide a striking contrast to the brilliant cornflower-blue silk ground. The gourd, with its numerous seeds and swelling form, was a natural symbol of fertility, an association which is reinforced by its extensive network of vines and tendrils, suggesting continuity and generations of descendants. The image of the gourd growing on a vine formed the rebus guadie mianmian ('May you have numerous descendants').

    Provenance

    Purchased at auction, London, late 1970s.


    Exhibited

    Fitchburg, Massachusetts, Fitchburg Museum of Art, Costumes from the Forbidden City, May 1989.