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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 32

    A RARE EMBROIDERED DRAGON ROUNDEL FROM THE SURCOAT OF AN EMPEROR OR IMPERIAL SON

    YONGZHENG/QIANLONG PERIOD (1723-1795)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A RARE EMBROIDERED DRAGON ROUNDEL FROM THE SURCOAT OF AN EMPEROR OR IMPERIAL SON
    YONGZHENG/QIANLONG PERIOD (1723-1795)
    Embroidered in satin stitch and fine couched gold thread with a front-facing imperial dragon, the sinuous body couched in fine gold thread against a ground of wispy clouds embroidered in five colors, a shou character above the dragon's head where the horns are picked out in white Peking knot, the dragon leaping above a wave pattern which defines the lower border, the green waves finely highlighted with thin gold threads, all reserved on a black silk ground
    12½ in. (31.6 cm.) diam., mounted


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    This roundel would have been made for an emperor's robe or a robe worn by one of his sons and would have been placed on the left shoulder of the robe.

    Four frontal long, or five-clawed dragon, roundels marked the court surcoats indicating rank for the emperor and his sons, including the heir apparent. The counter-clockwise curl of the dragon's body on this roundel indicates it was designed for the wearer's right shoulder. The shoulder roundels of the emperor's gunfu, or imperial surcoat, were marked with the symbols for the sun and moon. The shou, or long- life character, seen here, identified the insignia of the imperial sons. Sprigs of marigold, known as wanshouju, literally, 'chrysanthemum of ten thousand longevities,' and peonies, symbolizing wealth, surrounding the dragon, evoke subtle wishes for long life and prosperity.

    Provenance

    Private Australian collection.