• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2108

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

    19 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 20

    AN EMBROIDERED RED SATIN HAN CHINESE WOMAN'S COURT VEST, XIAPEI

    MID-19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AN EMBROIDERED RED SATIN HAN CHINESE WOMAN'S COURT VEST, XIAPEI
    MID-19TH CENTURY
    The front and back with a void area flanked by rows of birds where rank badges would have been applied, the remainder embroidered in gold-wrapped thread and satin stitch in front with two five-clawed dragons and in back with a front-facing dragon, all leaping amidst clouds and bats in pursuit of flaming pearls above froth-capped waves tossed with peonies worked in Peking knot and auspicious emblems, above a lower border of blue peonies, with a cloud collar surrounding the neck, and with couched gold edgings, the hem hung with blue netting suspending orange tassels, the lining of turquoise satin damask
    46 in. (117 cm.) long


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    The birds on the sides of the chest and back represent the nine species that represent mandarin rank. Based on embroidered stoles worn by women of the Ming Court, the void areas would have carried the insignia of the wearer's husband. The red color is very unusual and may indicate that it was made for a wedding celebration.
    Compare the embroidered red satin xiapei of Qianlong date, where the rank badges are embroidered onto the front and back of the vest, included in the exhibition, Heavens' Embroidered Cloths, One Thousand Years of Chinese Textiles, The Urban Council, Hong Kong, 23 June - 17 September 1995, pp. 228-9.