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AN UNUSUAL PAIR OF IMPERIAL KESI POUCH-SHAPED PURSES
THE PROPERTY OF A LADY
AN UNUSUAL PAIR OF IMPERIAL KESI POUCH-SHAPED PURSES

QING DYNASTY, LATE 18TH/EARLY 19 CENTURY

Details
AN UNUSUAL PAIR OF IMPERIAL KESI POUCH-SHAPED PURSES
QING DYNASTY, LATE 18TH/EARLY 19 CENTURY
Each pouch finely woven on each side in polychrome thread with a landscape setting of a lake surrounded by mountains, trees, bridges and pavilions, sewn together at the side, each pouch tied at the neck with a pair of imperial yellow drawstrings
4 3/4 in. (12 cm) wide (2)
Provenance
Previously sold at Christie's Hong Kong, The Imperial Sale, 28 April 1996, lot 35

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Aster Ng
Aster Ng

Lot Essay

Chinese robes were constructed without pockets, and small decorative receptacles suspended from garment belts were fashionable during the Qing period. The standard formal court belt, chaodai, had two round drawstring purses suspended from either side. It is likely that this format evolved from the nomadic practice of carrying pouches to store food, knives, flints and other necessities of an outdoor life. When the Manchus settled in China and chose a more leisurely life style, the pouches became smaller and were used to contain aromatic items or other objects such as watches, tobacco or snuff bottles. These pouches were also exchanged as gifts throughout the society.

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