China (Guangzhou), for the European or American market
Silk satin embroidered with silk
108 x 90 in. (274.3 x 228.6 cm)
Gift of Louise Housman, 1947
Not on view
This Chinese embroidered palampore represents the closing of the trade circle of the central tree design, which originated in China, was adapted in England in the mid-seventeenth century, then introduced by English East India Company merchants to textile painters in India. This silk version was made in the late eighteenth century in China, where Cantonese craftspeople embroidered it in imitation of an Indian painted cotton palampore. When it was donated to the Museum in 1947, it was placed in the American Wing, indicating the donor believed it had a history of American ownership. It could have traveled to the newly formed United States on an American ship after 1784, when direct trade with China was established.