Three Stars of Happiness
Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
late 17th century–early 18th century
Silk and gold thread embroidery on silk satin
81 x 95 in. (205.7 x 241.3 cm)
Gift of Mary Cogswell Kaufmann, 1977
Not on view
This embroidered altar hanging is organized into three registers. The top and most important register features three auspicious figures known as the Three Stars of Happiness: Happiness (fu), Emoluments and Official Preferments (lu) and in the center, Longevity (shou). They are shown with attendants and various attributes in a garden setting. The middle section, with offering bowls, possibly lay on the horizontal atop an altar table, and the lowest register may have hung down in front of the table.
One kay to the dating of this textile is the fact that each of the two flanking figures on the hanging wears a rank badge bearing a single bird and prominent sun, a style that came into being in the Qing dynasty.
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