Art/ Collection/ Art Object

清早期 刺繡道教袶衣
Daoist priest’s robe

Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
18th century
Silk and metallic thread embroidery on satin
Overall: 54 x 73 in. (137.2 x 185.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of William Christian Paul, 1929
Accession Number:
Not on view
This is a formal outfit for Daoist ceremonies, embroidered with a variety of animals that have religious significance. On top of the large roundel containing a pagoda are a red sun with a gold crow on the left and a white moon with a jade rabbit on the right. White cranes, symbols of immortality, are embroidered all over the robe. Along the bottom border is a mixture of different mythical animals, including blue and red dragons, unicorns, dragonfish, and a tortoise entwined with a snake (xuanwu), a mythical creature that symbolizes the north in the Chinese cosmic system.

Front of the robe. The two panels along its collar are embroidered with the blue dragon (symbol of the east) 
and the white tiger (symbol of the west).
William Christian Paul , the Bronx, NY (until d. 1929)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Manchu Dragon: Costumes of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912)," December 8, 1980–August 29, 1981.

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