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Black Satin Collar and Lapel Border with Embroidered Clouds, Bats, and Crane Roundels

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Period: Tongzhi reign (1862–1873), Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Dimensions: Embroidered band width: 10 cm

This band for a collar and lapel is made of black satin and embroidered with auspicious crane roundels, polychrome clouds and bats, and waves with river cliffs. The crane is a symbol of longevity and virtuous fulfillment while the red bat (hongfu) is a homophonic term for abundant fortune (hongfu, lit. “flooding fortune”). The waves and cliffs symbolize the perpetuity of imperial rule. Designs combining these symbols were primarily used for imperial birthday celebrations or on clothing for the elderly. This embroidered collar band is made with fine craftsmanship and an elegant color scheme. Believed to have been part of the empress’ ceremonial robes, it was probably produced by the Suzhou Textile Manufactory in the Qing dynasty (1644–1911).

Website version edited by Adam J. Ensign and Zhuang Ying

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