6376

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Straits Chinese Silk Embroidered Panel

Commissioned for the Straits Chinese Market; Southern China or Straits Settlements
late 19th century

length: 112cm, height: 54cm

Sold

Provenance

UK art market

This panel most probably was to decorate the wedding bedroom of a Straits Chinese house.

It has a silk pink ground panel embroidered with coloured silk threads and with couched gold thread. It is decorated with a central figure of Shou, the longevity deity. His cloak is stitched in red silk with long-life symbols. There is also a pair of chilins, a phoenix, a butterfly, a deer, and a stork or crane along with flowers and leaves, including finger citrons and peonies.

The pink panel is bordered by a deep purple panel delicately embroidered with phoenixes and other motifs.

The upper panel has a turquoise-green silk panel and is decorated with a phoenix, a chilin, a pair of lanterns, and a teapot, among other motifs. This is bordered with an orange panel which is decorated with phoenixes and other motifs.

Both the upper and lower panels are decorated with a silk fringe of netting and tassels in multiple colours. The fringes include small brass disks (some losses).

Most probably the panel was used to decorate a wedding bed or perhaps a doorway. The tastes are typically Straits Chinese. The textile might have been ordered from China but equally might have been made in one of the Straits Settlements.

It is in very good condition for its age. There is minor fading but no obvious losses to the embroidery and couching. It is stable and can be readily displayed.

References

Ho, W.M., Straits Chinese Beadwork & Embroidery: A Collector’s Guide, Times Books International, 1987.

Ismail, M.S.Z., et al., Muzium Tekstil Negara/National Textile Museum, Department of Museums Malaysia, 2012.

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