Manchu Woman’s Unofficial Informal Vest, 19th century

Unknown artist, expand_more


The John R. Van Derlip Fundexpand_more  42.8.77

The body of this vest is decorated with butterflies and sprays of flowers, including chrysanthemums, peonies, roses, wisterias, and plum blossoms. Loved both for their beauty and their symbolism, flowers have a long and storied history in Chinese culture. Different flowers indicate different concepts based on how and when they grow, historical figures that might be associated with them, or other unique characteristics. Peonies, for example, are known as the “king of flowers,” their large, lush blossoms symbolizing wealth, royalty, honor, and beauty. The cranes decorating the trim are also seen as auspicious—divine beings that can travel between the earthly and heavenly realms.

Manchu Woman’s Unofficial Informal Vest
L.52 in.
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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