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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 78

    A HAN CHINESE WOMAN'S HEATHER-BLUE INFORMAL THREE-QUARTER-LENGTH COAT, AO

    FOURTH QUARTER 19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A HAN CHINESE WOMAN'S HEATHER-BLUE INFORMAL THREE-QUARTER-LENGTH COAT, AO
    FOURTH QUARTER 19TH CENTURY
    The blue silk damask woven with a pattern of the bajixiang and clouds, finely embroidered in satin stitch, couched gold-wrapped thread and some Peking knot with twelve symmetrically placed roundels of figural scenes surrounded by scattered flowers, butterflies and small gold roundels, the eight-lobed collar, lapel and sleeve edgings in white satin embroidered with further figural cartouches reserved on a ground of gold and blue diaper, the ivory satin sleeve bands worked in fine chain stitch and some satin stitch with cartouches of boys in a garden flanked by cartouches of birds, finished with brocade-woven ribbons and piping of purple and pink silk, lined in teal blue silk
    41 in. (104 cm.) long x 55 in. (139.8 cm.) across


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    The design of this robe, figural roundels surrounded by scattered flower sprigs and butterflies, as well as the ornate 'cloud' collar, is very similar to a woman's unofficial informal robe illustrated by R.D. Jacobsen, Imperial Silks, Ch'ing Textiles in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, vol. I, Minneapolis, 2000, pp. 514-5, no. 215. The author notes that "unofficial robes arranged with medallion designs were considered the most formal". On both robes the embroidery is enhanced and set off by the attractive blue satin brocade ground. See, also, another informal robe with a ground of similar blue color embroidered with roundels of scenes from Dream of the Red Chamber, but with simpler collar and borders, which was included in the exhibition, Asian Embroideries, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 6 April - 10 July 1988, no. 1.

    Provenance

    Purchased London, late 1970s.


    Literature

    'Lady of the Robes', Fables, 2001, vol. 2, Raffles Hotel, Singapore.