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Light Blue Brocade with Western Floral Design

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Period: Guangxu reign (1875–1908), Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Dimensions: Width: 71 cm wide; scroll diameter: 8 cm

The light blue (huse, lit. “lake color”) silk ground was made on an eight-heald frame with three shuttles to created the decorative weft floral design. The pink and lilac wefts combine with blue, green, and gold threads to compose images of flowers and leaves; the floral cores are woven with gold thread. The label identifies this woven fabric as a refined silk product from Suzhou.

The brocade was made with traditional Chinese techniques, Western patterns, and imported gold thread. Produced in Suzhou in the late-Qing period (Qing dynasty, 1644–1911), the label indicates that it was produced by a folk workshop and acquired by the court. At the time, Western influence could be found within the imperial palaces and throughout wider society.

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