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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 49

    UNCUT EMBROIDERED MIDNIGHT-BLUE SILK YARDAGE FOR AN IMPERIAL SURCOAT

    DAOGUANG PERIOD (1821-1850)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    UNCUT EMBROIDERED MIDNIGHT-BLUE SILK YARDAGE FOR AN IMPERIAL SURCOAT
    DAOGUANG PERIOD (1821-1850)
    Worked in gold and silver-wrapped and multicolored threads with eight dragon roundels, the dragons couched in very pale gold and silver thread shown leaping amidst clouds above roiling, froth-capped waves, encircled by a border of clouds and the wufu suspending wan emblems, six of the dragons shown in profile and clutching the flaming pearl, the other two in the center of the front and the back leaping around the flaming pearl, all above wind-tossed roiling waves centered by a terrestrial diagram and a wide lishui stripe
    115 in. (292 cm.) long x 58 in. (147.3 cm.) wide


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    The symbolism of the dragons shown clutching the flaming pearl indicates that this surcoat was destined for a very high-ranking member of the imperial family, probably an empress. Compare a similar yardage in the Qing Court collection, dated to the Qianlong period, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 50 - Textiles and Embroideries of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Hong Kong, 2005, p. 195, no. 216.