Silk and metallic thread embroidery on silk satin and float-patterned plain-weave silk
Overall (a): 2 3/4 x 1 1/2 in. (7 x 3.8 cm)
Overall (b): 10 x 4 in. (25.4 x 10.2 cm)
Gift of Florance Waterbury, 1967
Not on view
This embroidered toy features a man riding a qilin, a fantastic animal commonly found in the decorative arts of the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing dynasties. Although its appearance can vary, the qilin seen here combines the features of a dragon (head, horns, and scales), a fantastical lion (tail), and a deer (body and hooves). Various auspicious items hang from the qilin, among them (from the left) scrolls, a sycee (silver ingot), books, and a handheld decorative accessory called a ruyi. The detachable rider holds a sheng, a type of mouth organ.
Florance Waterbury , New York (until 1967; donated to MMA)
New York. Queens Museum of Art. "The Artist's Menagerie," June 29, 1974–August 25, 1974.
North Salem. Hammond Museum & Japanese Stroll Garden. "The Horse in History, Mythology and Art," May 1, 1979–October 28, 1979.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Textiles," July 23, 2005–October 29, 2005.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Textiles," September 6, 2011–April 15, 2012.