The panel is taken from the yoke of a 16th century imperial robe. In the Ming dynasty, the use of five-clawed dragons on robes was reserved exclusively for the Emperor. Therefore, it is interesting to note that the fifth claw of this dragon has been covered. It has been suggested that this was possibly because it was intended as a gift to a Tibetan monastery. The present lot may be compared to the two panels depicting upright dragons embroidered on green velvet and exhibited in Chinese Textiles, Spink & Son Ltd., 5 - 23 December 1994, pp. 38-39, nos. 34 and 35.