Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Fan Surface with a Dragon, Clouds, and Waves

Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Tapestry-woven (kesi) silk
Overall: 10 5/8 x 10 5/8 in. (27 x 27 cm)
Credit Line:
From the Collection of A. W. Bahr, Purchase, Fletcher Fund, 1947
Accession Number:
Not on view
During the Yuan dynasty (1279–1368), on the occasion of the Duanwu Festival (the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, now celebrated as the Dragon Boat Festival), the ministry of rites would present to the imperial court fans made of silk tapestry (kesi) with various pictorial subjects, including dragons in clouds. This fan surface, with a dragon breathing out a flaming pearl above waves, is a vestige of that tradition. The woven inscription indicates that it was a gift to a brother-in-law.
Inscription: Woven, Shudian jin di da ren Qing fu xin yi Zhong zhen [hao], presenter (Zhong zhen) wishes important honorable brother-in-law a clear breeze; paper label, kesi yun long tuan shan (tapestry, cloud, dragon, circular fan)

Marking: Woven seal, unidentified
[ A. W. Bahr , until 1947; sold to MMA]
New York. China House Gallery. "Kesi and Silk Tapestry," March 24, 1971–May 27, 1971.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Silk Tapestry (Kesi)," March 17, 2004–July 4, 2004.

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