Woman's birthday coat
Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
late 19th century
Silk and metallic thread tapestry (kesi)
47 x 68 in. (119.4 x 172.7 cm)
Gift of the Estate of Mrs. Edward Robinson, 1952
Not on view
This tapestry-woven woman's coat was considered appropriate outerwear for birthday celebrations and other auspicious occasions. Its brilliant magenta ground is decorated with golden medallions bearing the character for longevity (shou) and the swastika (wan), which denoted ten thousand years.
The dark bands at the neck, sleeve, and front opening of the coat have a matching design. Frequently, such bands will wear out before the rest of the coat, but they survive intact here.
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