Eighteenth century twelve-symbol robes are extremely rare. A nearly identical robe, but with prescribed collar and cuffs, is illustrated in by Wan Yi et al., Daily Life in the Forbidden City, New York, 1988, p. 178, no. 239. Although the present lot has had its collar and cuffs removed, the condition of this robe is exceptional for its age and retains its original, brilliant colors
Other comparable examples are in the Shenyang Palace Museum, Liaoning province, included in the exhibition, Imperial Life in the Qing Dynasty, The Empress Place Museum, Singapore, Catalogue, pp. 52 and 53; and another with very similar placement of symbols and motifs, but with blue or black sleeve extensions, is illustrated by John E. Vollmer, In the Presence of the Dragon Throne, Royal Ontario Museum, 1977, pp. 58 and 59, where the author states that, "When Imperial Edict codified Ch'ing court costume in 1759, the emperor's own formal and semi-formal coats were exalted above all others with the addition of the twelve ancient symbols of imperial authority to the basic decorative schema. Following Han Dynasty precedent, this distinction was reserved for the emperor alone"