This roundel would have been made for an emperor's robe or a robe worn by one of his sons and would have been placed on the left shoulder of the robe.
Four frontal long, or five-clawed dragon, roundels marked the court surcoats indicating rank for the emperor and his sons, including the heir apparent. The counter-clockwise curl of the dragon's body on this roundel indicates it was designed for the wearer's right shoulder. The shoulder roundels of the emperor's gunfu, or imperial surcoat, were marked with the symbols for the sun and moon. The shou, or long- life character, seen here, identified the insignia of the imperial sons. Sprigs of marigold, known as wanshouju, literally, 'chrysanthemum of ten thousand longevities,' and peonies, symbolizing wealth, surrounding the dragon, evoke subtle wishes for long life and prosperity.