Textile Panel with Phoenixes and Lotuses
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Satin brocaded with silk and metallic thread
Overall (after conservation,): 58 1/4 x 30 7/8 in. (148 x 78.4 cm)
Overall (before conservation): 58 1/4 x 30 11/16 in. (148 x 78 cm)
Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, in honor of Douglas Dillon, 2001
Not on view
Among meandering floral scrolls, golden phoenixes in flight alternate with lotus flowers, each bearing a pair of auspicious symbols. These symbols—umbrella with paired fish, vase with lotus, conch shell with endless knot, and canopy with wheel—are often found as a set and are associated with Buddhism.
Two kinds of gold thread are found in this textile. The phoenixes were brocaded with a wrapped gold thread, in which strips of paper covered with gold leaf were wrapped around a silk core. The other type, consisting of flat strips of gilded paper, can sometimes be seen amid the brocaded auspicious symbols.
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