A silk embroidered twelve symbol empress informal robe Late 19th century
Lot 5028
A silk embroidered twelve-symbol empress's informal robe Mid-late 19th century
Sold for US$ 52,500 inc. premium
Auction Details
A silk embroidered twelve-symbol empress's informal robe Mid-late 19th century A silk embroidered twelve-symbol empress's informal robe Mid-late 19th century A silk embroidered twelve-symbol empress's informal robe Mid-late 19th century A silk embroidered twelve-symbol empress's informal robe Mid-late 19th century A silk embroidered twelve-symbol empress's informal robe Mid-late 19th century A silk embroidered twelve-symbol empress's informal robe Mid-late 19th century A silk embroidered twelve-symbol empress's informal robe Mid-late 19th century A silk embroidered twelve-symbol empress's informal robe Mid-late 19th century A silk embroidered twelve-symbol empress's informal robe Mid-late 19th century A silk embroidered twelve-symbol empress's informal robe Mid-late 19th century A silk embroidered twelve-symbol empress's informal robe Mid-late 19th century A silk embroidered twelve-symbol empress's informal robe Mid-late 19th century A silk embroidered twelve-symbol empress's informal robe Mid-late 19th century A silk embroidered twelve-symbol empress's informal robe Mid-late 19th century A silk embroidered twelve-symbol empress's informal robe Mid-late 19th century A silk embroidered twelve-symbol empress's informal robe Mid-late 19th century A silk embroidered twelve-symbol empress's informal robe Mid-late 19th century A silk embroidered twelve-symbol empress's informal robe Mid-late 19th century A silk embroidered twelve symbol empress informal robe Late 19th century
Lot Details
Property from an East Coast Private Collection
A silk embroidered twelve-symbol empress's informal robe
Mid-late 19th century
The body and upper sleeves decorated with a celestial landscape, featuring nine dragons in seed stitch on an ivory colored ground amid clouds and bats carrying the eight treasures and eight precious things, shou medallions, with the twelve symbols of imperial authority in orthodox placement, the lishui border in the hurricane wave pattern, with a blue silk lining and gilt metal buttons.
56in (142.2cm) long

Footnotes

  • Although a part of the imperial symbolism from the Western Han through the Ming dynasties, the twelve symbols of imperial authority disappeared from regalia with the Manchu conquest in 1644. With the redistribution of the court dress code in 1759 the Qianlong emperor re-instated the use of the twelve imperial symbols. Although the 1759 doctrine expressed that all twelve symbols were to be used solely by the Emperor, the existence of robes such as this one and those in museum collections indicate that by the nineteenth century the gradual loosening of restrictions led to them also being used in semi-formal court robes (jifu) for the empress and dowager empress.

    For a nearly identically patterned 19th century twelve-symbol robe with a hurricane wave border in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts acc. No 44.9.2 see Robert Jacobsen Imperial Silks Chʻing dynasty textiles in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts p.114-115, as well as a similar patterned robe dated circa 1835 in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (accession number 45.48)

    Although the cream-color ground of this robe is unusual, a similar color woman's robe is in the collection the Metropolitan Museum of Art (accession number 43.119).
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