16th century-17th century (made)


Length: 53.5 in, Width: 54.75 in

T.1-1957 EAS

Fragment from a dragon robe of silk satin with a brocaded panel, China, 16th cnetury-17th century

Fragment from a dragon robe of dark blue silk satin with a brocaded quatrefoil panel filling almost the entire space. Outside the centre panel the ground has a damask cloud pattern, inside it the ground is of plain satin. Inside the panel are two large four-clawed horned dragons with gold scales edged with silver. Each is pursuing a sacred pearl. A few clouds are scattered in the field. Along the edge of the quatrefoil panel is a border of waves in which are scattered a few lucky symbols. Rocks occur in the waves at the two points below the dragons' heads on opposite sides of the panel. The panel is made up from two lengths, with selvedges at the centre but not at the sides. The pattern wefts are brocaded in 2/1 twill on a satin of 5 ground. The coloured silk wefts are white, blue, tan and blue-green. The silver weft is a silvered paper strip, the gold, gilded skin wound Z-wise on a Z spun silk core. This latter is used in paired shoots. The pattern wefts float on the back of the textile.

This is the top portion of a dragon robe of the Ming type which was worn under the early Qing dynasty, but went out in the 18th century. But the central aperture for the head has not been cut, which indicates that this may never have been made up into a robe.

Location: In Storage

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