Dragon Robe Fragment
The four five-clawed dragons in a stretched out position indicates they were once at the bottom of a Chaofu. The Chaofu is the most formal of the dragon robes worn by Chinese officials, and the blue ground of this piece indicates it was a gauze robe for warmer weather. Five-clawed dragons were reserved for the imperial family, and blue robes were for lower ranking nobles.
Four dragons are embroidered using a couched stitch technique in metallic thread, while the rest of the piece is done in counted stitch. The small area surrounding the dragons is a celestial landscape that includes clouds, mountains, waves, and bats.
These two panels are sewn together just above the dragons, with some patches seamlessly filling in spots that may have been damaged. The entire embroidered area is framed with a couched metallic thread border, and a cotton frame decorated with a gold brocade ribbon - bringing the piece from being fragments to a complete textile.
Circa: 19th century
Material: Silk and metallic thread
Condition: Very good
Dimensions: 51" x 29"
Inventory number: TX5275