A festival robe, or jifu pao, was worn during festivals, banquets, and other events held in the periods preceding significant sacrificial ceremonies. Only those woven for the emperor, their consorts, and the crown prince were called a “dragon robe” (longpao), and decorated with five-clawed dragons and certain auspicious symbols. The sun, moon, constellation, mountain, dragons, flowery bird, sacrificial cups, waterweed, millet, fire, ax, and the symbol of discrimination "fu," seen on this robe, were reserved exclusively for imperial robes, as was the bright yellow color. They represent the emperor’s control over all elements of the universe. The powerful, vibrant, and fierce dragons embroidered on this robe date it to the second half of the eighteenth century, implying that it might have been made for the Emperor Qianlong (reigned 1736–95), one of the most famous rulers of the Qing dynasty.
[ Dr. John Hammond , New York, until 1935; sold to MMA}
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Textiles," December 8, 1931–January 31, 1932.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Costumes from the Forbidden City," 1945.
New York. China Institute in America. "Embroidery of Imperial China," March 15, 1978–May 29, 1978.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Power and Prestige: Chinese Dragon Robes 18th–21st Century," December 11, 2013–July 6, 2014.