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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 66

    AN IMPERIAL EMBROIDERED YELLOW SATIN DOUBLE-GOURD PURSE

    MID-19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AN IMPERIAL EMBROIDERED YELLOW SATIN DOUBLE-GOURD PURSE
    MID-19TH CENTURY
    Finely embroidered on the yellow satin ground on one side with a lower scene of three rams and a pair of pheasants perched on a pierced blue rock below the sun, and on the upper section with birds perched on a wisteria vine, the reverse decorated below with black birds amidst blossoming pink peony and magnolia while two blue birds perch on a peony branch above, on both sides the scenes are separated by ruyi borders stitched in fine gold and silver-wrapped thread at the waist which is gathered by blue cords tied with endless knots, with matching ruyi decoration at the top, the edges bound in blue and white woven ribbon
    6½ in. (16.5 cm.) long, lucite display case


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    The imagery of three rams (san yang) combined with the sun or taichi symbol represents wishes for a 'new start with auspicious possibilities and chances for prosperity'.

    This purse is embroidered in the style for which the city of Suzhou became famous, using exceptionally fine thread and incredible detail. Examples of such purses and related acessories are in the Qing court collection. (Fig. 1)

    Another similar double-gourd-form purse is illustrated by R.D. Jacobsen, Imperial Silks, Ch'ing Dynasty Textiles in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, vol. II, Minneapolis, 2000, p. 770, no. 358, where it is described as a tobacco pouch.

    Provenance

    Purchased London, late 1970s.