Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Silk, metallic thread, and peacock feather filament embroidery on silk satin
55 1/4 x 63 1/4 in. (140.34 x 160.66 cm)
Bequest of William Christian Paul, 1929
Not on view
The unusual green tone of the robe derives from peacock feather filaments that were individually twisted by hand onto the threads used to embroider the garment. Robes made in this laborious fashion were valued both for the work entailed and for their exotic quality as the peacock is not native to China. Textual sources trace the use of peacock feather filaments to the fifth century. The earliest surviving examples are fragments unearthed from the tomb of Ming Emperor Wanli (1572–1620) in a suburb of Beijing in the 1950s. A robe similar to this one is now in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing.
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