Exhibitions/ Art Object

Textile with Crowned Double-Headed Eagles

second half 16th century
Chinese, Macao for export to Iberian market
Lampas, silk
20 × 22 in. (50.8 × 55.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1912
Accession Number:
Not on view
Crowned double-headed eagles, often symbolic of the Habsburg rulers of Spain and Portugal, are incorporated into this textile, an early example of a Chinese woven silk produced for the Iberian market. The colors and composition are European in character, but Chinese conventions have crept into motifs such the eagles, whose patterned breasts and extended neck feathers recall Chinese phoenixes. The heart-shaped urns pierced by arrows possibly allude to the emblem of Augustinian missionaries recently arrived in Macau. Surviving ecclesiastical vestments made of this fabric confirms its use by the Catholic Church.
[ Kelekian , 1912; sold to MMA ]
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