A hardwood screen mounted with Guangdong embroidery silk panels  Late Qing/Republic period

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Lot 8053W
A hardwood screen mounted with Guangdong embroidery silk panels
Late Qing/Republic period

Sold for US$ 87,500 inc. premium
Property from a Monterey Private Collection
A hardwood screen mounted with Guangdong embroidery silk panels
Late Qing/Republic period
Comprised of eleven panels bordered by inlaid mother-of-pearl Eight Immortal emblems framing reticulated scroll work of shou medallion, auspicious bat, and fruit basket motifs backed by mirrors, all surrounding the continuous and intricately rendered landscape tableau of the Eight immortals and Shoulao stitched upon a cream-hued ground in threads of understated greens, periwinkle, and burnt umber, the largest central panel reversed by an incised maker's mark reading Guangdong Caiyuan; together with a custom-made wooden plinth for display.
65 3/4in (167cm) height exclusive of plinth

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Acquired by Roy Chapman Andrews (1884-1960)
    Thereupon a Private Monterey Collection since at least 1957

    Among the varied types of Chinese needlework, Guangdong embroidery (Yuexiu/Guangxiu) is characterized by a more subdued color palette of threads utilized in a dazzling variety of stitching techniques. A high percentage of these pieces were manufactured in the late 19th century and afterwards for export to the west as the economy of the Pearl River delta started to gear itself towards foreign trade. For a more in-depth overview of this type of textile see Li Yulai and Li Yufang, Ming Qing Xiupin [Embroideries of Ming and Qing Dynasties] (Shanghai: Donghua Daxue Chuban She, 2012), 73-83.

    However, there are several examples of Guangdong Embroidery in the Qing palace collection dated to the 18th century and clearly made for imperial use rather than foreign commercial sale. One example dated to the Qianlong period is in Shan Guoqiang, ed, Zhixiu Shuhua: Gugong Bowuyuan Cang Wenwu Zhenpin Quanji [Embroidered Pictures: The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum] (Hong Kong: The Commercial Press, 2005), 50-51, no 20.

    There are signs that the present lot could indeed possibly have been one of these imperially commissioned examples, as the swash-buckling raconteur Roy Chapman Andrews reputedly always maintained. First of all, the imposing size, breathtaking intricacy and more unusual subject matter would seem more geared to a domestic Chinese audience as opposed to the much more common (and easier to transport) Guangdong embroidered One Hundred Birds table screens usually seen at auction. Also notable is the inscription reversing the Shoulao panel reading Guangdong Caiyuan. A table screen in the Palace Collection dated as 'Qing dynasty' is reversed by a label from this same Caiyuan textile factory (Shan, ibid, 56-57, no 25). The lengthy inscription on that published example (which Shan calls 'of advertisement quality [Guanggao xingzhi]') describes in detail the panoply of high quality embroidered products the Caiyuan ateliers presented to the court-- including notably landscape and figure panels like the present lot. The label concludes by admonishing the discerning client to beware of fakes and accept no substitutes.
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A hardwood screen mounted with Guangdong embroidery silk panels  Late Qing/Republic period
A hardwood screen mounted with Guangdong embroidery silk panels  Late Qing/Republic period
A hardwood screen mounted with Guangdong embroidery silk panels  Late Qing/Republic period
A hardwood screen mounted with Guangdong embroidery silk panels  Late Qing/Republic period
A hardwood screen mounted with Guangdong embroidery silk panels  Late Qing/Republic period
A hardwood screen mounted with Guangdong embroidery silk panels  Late Qing/Republic period
A hardwood screen mounted with Guangdong embroidery silk panels  Late Qing/Republic period
A hardwood screen mounted with Guangdong embroidery silk panels  Late Qing/Republic period
A hardwood screen mounted with Guangdong embroidery silk panels  Late Qing/Republic period
A hardwood screen mounted with Guangdong embroidery silk panels  Late Qing/Republic period
A hardwood screen mounted with Guangdong embroidery silk panels  Late Qing/Republic period
A hardwood screen mounted with Guangdong embroidery silk panels  Late Qing/Republic period
A hardwood screen mounted with Guangdong embroidery silk panels  Late Qing/Republic period
A hardwood screen mounted with Guangdong embroidery silk panels  Late Qing/Republic period
A hardwood screen mounted with Guangdong embroidery silk panels  Late Qing/Republic period
A hardwood screen mounted with Guangdong embroidery silk panels  Late Qing/Republic period
A hardwood screen mounted with Guangdong embroidery silk panels  Late Qing/Republic period
A hardwood screen mounted with Guangdong embroidery silk panels  Late Qing/Republic period
A hardwood screen mounted with Guangdong embroidery silk panels  Late Qing/Republic period
A hardwood screen mounted with Guangdong embroidery silk panels  Late Qing/Republic period
A hardwood screen mounted with Guangdong embroidery silk panels  Late Qing/Republic period
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