Manchu Woman’s Informal Robe

Manchu Woman’s Informal Robe

early 1900s
Country
China
robe
Silk and metal thread embroidery on silk gauze
Neusteter Textile Collection: Gift of James P. Grant and Betty Grant Austin
1977.214

Manchu Woman's Informal Robe, China, early 1900s. Silk and metal thread embroidery on silk gauze. Neusteter Textile Collection: Gift of James P. Grant and Betty Grant Austin, 1977.214.

Dimensions
length: 53 in, 134.6200 cm; width: 52 in, 132.0800 cm
Department
Textile Art and Fashion
Collection
Textile Art and Fashion-Asian
Unlike heavy satins, the open weave structure of gauze made it more comfortable for warm weather. The Empress Dowager Cixi is known to have disliked this imperial yellow color, judging it unflattering to her complexion. It is thought she personally designed this robe’s wide, dark borders to reduce the reflection of the yellow silk on her face. In the early 1900s, Cixi preferred robes like this one, with generous edge banding, elaborately tailored side openings, and her favorite motif, the wanshou medallion, a symbol of longevity.
Known Provenance
Inherited 1973 by Mr. James P. Grant and Mrs. Betty Grant Austin [Denver, CO, 1922-1995 and 1920-2006]; gifted December 1977 by Mr. James Grant and Mrs. Betty Grant Austin to the Denver Art Museum
Exhibition History
  • "Threads of Heaven: Silken Legacy of China's Last Dynasty," October 30, 2011 - January 29, 2012 (DAM)
  • "Threads of Heaven: Silken Legacy of China's Last Dynasty," Februrary 7 - May 18, 2014 (Taft Museum, Cincinnati, OH)