no image
Lot 8253
A rare fur-lined surcoat with four embroidered dragon roundels
Late Qing dynasty
Sold for US$ 18,750 inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
Property from the William G. Thompson (1896-1978) Collection
A rare fur-lined surcoat with four embroidered dragon roundels
Late Qing dynasty
The mid-length garment constructed with a center front opening, side-vented, the deep brown satin finely woven with auspicious seasonal flowers including peony, lotus, chrysanthemum and plum, embroidered with four front-facing five-clawed dragon roundels with symbols of the constellation of the three stars, the mountains, the moon and the sun applied respectively to the front, back and shoulders, the interior lined with pale silk and possibly later-added or replaced fur.
46in (117cm) long 55in (139.7cm) across

Footnotes

  • The surcoat in the Qing court was always cut shorter than the court robe with a center front opening and straight cuffs. It was worn over court attire for the most august of state occasions.

    The emperor's surcoat was called a gunfu (royal garment), and those for imperial princes and high rank officials were named bufu (garment with a badge). Although all surcoats were virtually identical in cut, an emperor's surcoat was embroidered with four front-facing five-clawed golden dragons set within medallions with symbols of the sun and the moon on the shoulders, and shou characters, or the constellation and the mountain after the second half of the nineteenth century on the chest and back. The dragons on surcoats made for princes or court officials were either all right-facing, or in profile on shoulders.

    The present example could well be a gunfu example. The interior lined-fur, however, appears to be a replacement as fur-lined winter surcoats from the Qing court were typically designed with the fur lining over the edges of the garment.

    For illustrations and further discussion regarding gunfu and bufu, refer to Gary Dickinson and Linda Wrigglesworth, Imperial Wardrobe, Ten Speed Press, 2000, pp. 116-136. See also Christie's, New York, sale 2108: The Imperial Wardrobe, Fine Chinese Costume and Textiles from the Linda Wrigglesworth Collection, 19 March 2008, lot 113. An emperor's winter surcoat with a similarly embroidered front dragon roundel, also ornamented with the constellation symbol, is illustrated and discussed in Robert L. Thorp, Son of Heaven, Imperial Arts of China, Son of Heaven Press, Seattle, 1988, p. 74.
Activities
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armor, Coins & Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, and Wine & Whisky:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first $100,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from $100,001 to $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price
12% on the excess over $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card. A processing fee will be assessed on any returned checks. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. Angela Lee
    Auction Administration - Chinese Works of Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    220 San Bruno Avenue
    San Francisco, United States 94103
    Work +1 415 503 3358
    FaxFax: +1 415 503 3300