One of a Pair of Chair Strips with Auspicious Patterns
Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Tapestry-woven (kesi) silk and metallic thread
Overall: 64 x 19 in. (162.6 x 48.3 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1965
Not on view
Unlike upholstered furniture in the West, chairs in China were, historically, covered only temporarily with textiles. These chair strips (see also 65.210.2) were designed and woven specifically for the purpose. As is typical of such strips, the length is divided into multiple segments, each bearing a different design for the part of the chair it covers—the front legs, seat, or back—as well as a short segment that hangs behind the chair.
This pair of auspiciously patterned chair strips was appropriate for special occasions such as birthday celebrations. Peaches (symbols of immortality) and the character for longevity (shou) decorate the segment behind the chair, and the front legs are covered with a pattern of pavilions in the sea, which probably refers to the isles of the immortals.
Marking: Seal (?) in faint orange stamped on backing in lower left corner.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Silk Tapestry (Kesi)," March 17, 2004–July 4, 2004.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Celebration: The Birthday in Chinese Art," February 27, 2010–November 28, 2010.