Fragment

late 16th century-18th century (made)

Unknown

Length: 61 cm, Width: 48 cm, Length: 24 in, Width: 13.75 in

T.215-1910 EAS

Textile fragment of brocaded silk on satin, possibly made in Guangzhou, probably made in Macau, late 16th century-18th century

Textile fragment of brocaded silk in blue, yellow and white with gilt paper strips on a red satin ground. Chinese weaving from a Spanish design depicting a double-headed eagle over a stylised vase. The double-headed eagle is holding two arrows in its claws which penetrate the centre of the vase below. Surrounding this device are scrolling floral and foliated stems where tropical birds are perched. Worn across the middle part of a garment.

Judging from its shape, this fragment may have been taken from a Roman Catholic priest's vestment. The crimson silk ground indicates that the vestment would probably have been worn on the feast day of a martyr. The repeat pattern of double-headed eagles over a stylised vase may have been intended to be an emblem adopted by the Order of St Augustine under Hapsburg patronage. The original emblem is the Royal Hapsburg eagles standing over a Cardinal's hat (probably symbolising the authority of the Crown and the Church), which rests over the Augustinian crest of a heart pierced with arrows. This vestment was probably woven in the East, in Macau, for Augustinian missionaries stationed in the Philippines. The finished textiles were probably brought via Chinese junks sailing to the Philippines.

Location: In Storage

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