Robe of green kesiwith all-over design of peonies, orchids, plum blossoms and butterflies. Sleeves and collar banded with black k'esi of bat design. Cuffs of white satin embroidered wit flower sprays. Trimming the kesi band of clooar and opening is a band of floral brocade braid which is shaped into a scrolled line at under arm opening/ Inferior k'ossu with much painted detail. Robe slit at sides and lined with pink silk.

Manchu Woman's Unofficial Informal Robe, Guangxu period, 1875-1908

Unknown artist, expand_more

This richly decorated special occasion gown features a scattered scheme of flowers and animals. Peonies, orchids, plum and peach blossoms, magnolia, lotus, chrysanthemum, and morning glory flowers combine with cicadas against a green background. The cuffs feature sprays of multicolored seasonal flowers while the inner cuff bands and borders display crane roundels alternating with bats (representing happiness) against a dark blue ground. This robe symbolizes the classic Chinese ideal of harmony with nature. The floral imagery represents seasonal change with the specific flowers signifying different months of the year. The cicada, which emerges in spring to complete its life cycle, suggests renewal and regeneration. Together, the insects and flower promote the ideal of a harmonious coexistence of all living things.

Details
Title
Manchu Woman's Unofficial Informal Robe
Role
Artist
Dimension
L. 54 1/2 in.
Accession Number
42.8.67
Curator Approved

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Robe of green kesiwith all-over design of peonies, orchids, plum blossoms and butterflies. Sleeves and collar banded with black k'esi of bat design. Cuffs of white satin embroidered wit flower sprays. Trimming the kesi band of clooar and opening is a band of floral brocade braid which is shaped into a scrolled line at under arm opening/ Inferior k'ossu with much painted detail. Robe slit at sides and lined with pink silk.