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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 15

    AN UNUSUAL EMBROIDERED GAUZE WOMAN'S VEST, XIAPEI

    THIRD QUARTER 19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AN UNUSUAL EMBROIDERED GAUZE WOMAN'S VEST, XIAPEI
    THIRD QUARTER 19TH CENTURY
    Made of fine midnight-blue silk gauze embroidered in gold-wrapped thread and counted stitch with a 'cloud collar', a pair of five-clawed profile dragons clutching flaming pearls on the front and a front-facing dragon on the back, all amidst pairs of various birds, clouds and shou characters above a band of wind-tossed waves and a peony scroll border, all surrounding applied rank badges similarly worked on fine black gauze with an egret, the rank badges backed in turquoise silk, the vest backed in orange silk, the hem hung with green silk netting suspending gilt-metal balls and multicolored silk tassels
    46 in. (117 cm.) long


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    The xiapei, based on the embroidered stoles worn by women of the Ming court, was worn by the wives of Han Chinese, who applied their husband's rank to the front and back. In this case, the badges display the egret, indicating that the wearer was the wife of a sixth rank official.
    A similar xiapei in the collection of the author is illustrated by V.M. Garrett, Chinese Clothing: An Illustrated Guide, New York, 1994, pl. 38.

    Provenance

    Private American collection, 1988.