A very fine and large embroidered 'dragon' panel Late Edo/Meiji Period
Lot 292W
A very fine and large embroidered 'dragon' panel Late Edo/Meiji Period
Sold for £5,000 (US$ 8,288) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
A very fine and large embroidered 'dragon' panel
Late Edo/Meiji Period
Boldly embroidered primarily in gold, silver, brown, black, grey and cream thread with a large upward-coiling ferocious three-clawed dragon grasping at an elaborate flaming pearl, all on a trellis-pattern floral ground, the gold-ground border with two mon of a single coiled crane in the top horizontal section within a continuous meander of leafy cream peony, unsigned. Framed and glazed, overall 240cm x 154cm (94½in x 60½in).

Footnotes

  • 昇竜図刺繍壁掛 無銘 額装 江戸時代後期/明治時代

    Provenance: Thomas William Bowlby (1817-1860), the distinguished Victorian period Times correspondent. He was sent to China in 1860 as a special correspondent of the 'Times' and on the same steamship Malaba, were fellow-passengers Lord Elgin and Baron Gros.

    Purchased directly from Sir Anthony Bowlby, the grandson of the above by the present owner in the early 1970's.

    Given the cast-iron provenance, the background of the original owner and the exceptional quality of the tapestry, it seems highly plausible that this remarkably elaborately-woven wall hanging was commissioned in Japan by the Chinese in the mid 19th century, when that country's indigenous silk industry's reputation for high quality was unsurpassed - and made to be displayed in a major state room, not unlike one that would have been found inside the Summer Palace, as a potent symbol of authority and power.

    The aesthetic owes much to Chinese Imperial design and ceremonial taste, but it is interesting to note that the dragon has three (not the normal Chinese four or five) claws, and there is no metal-wrapped gold or silver thread.
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