On this robe, scores of delightful butterflies flutter among longevity medallions. Since the word for “butterfly” in Chinese (die) is a homonym for “octogenarian,” the butterfly is a symbol of longevity. It is also usually an auspicious image associated with joy and weddings, and this robe might have been worn for such an occasion.
Mr. and Mrs. George F. Miller , Upper Montclair, NJ (until 1970; donated to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Manchu Dragon: Costumes of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912)," December 8, 1980–August 29, 1981.
Jacksonville Art Museum. "Empress Dowager," December 1982–May 1983.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Celebration: The Birthday in Chinese Art," February 27, 2010–November 28, 2010.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Spirited Creatures: Animal Representations in Chinese Silk and Lacquer," October 21, 2017–July 22, 2018.