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Chair Strip with Elephant

Period:
Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Date:
18th century
Culture:
China
Medium:
Silk, metallic thread, peacock feather filaments; on silk; lined with linen(?)
Dimensions:
64 1/4 x 20 1/4 in. (163.19 x 51.44 cm)
Classification:
Textiles-Embroidered
Credit Line:
Gift of Edna Bahr, 1962
Accession Number:
62.97.44
Not on view
The length of this chair strip is divided into segments, with a different design for each part of the chair being covered—the front legs, seat, and back, and a short segment that hangs behind the chair. Elements of standard rebuses are present in the section with the elephant embroidery, where various treasures and auspicious objects crowd the vessel on the elephant's back. For example, the frequent pairing of a musical stone and a halberd occurs on one side of the vessel, representing a celebratory occasion. On the other side of the vessel, peaches, symbolizing longevity, dangle from a branchlike decorative accessory (ruyi), which stands for wish fulfillment. The elephant is a rebus for a sign. Thus, the composite motif is read as "signs of celebration and longevity."
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