School of Design

ULITA - an Archive of International Textiles

apron
Date: 19th century
Dimensions: 54 x 42 cm (21 1/4 x 16 9/16 in.)
Medium: silk, metallic yarns
Made in: China
Description: The central patterning is the qilin carrying a boy, with another boy holding a huagai (canopy). Various floral motifs are used to express auspicious wishes. The peony and crab-apple blossoms form the homophonic message "man tang fu guei", or "great nobility and wealth for the whole family". Similarly a shen, (a reed pipe wind instrument) and osmanthus flowers held by the riding boy symbolise the hope of being promoted to the rank of great nobility. The main stitching used is satin stitch. Seed, stem and couching stitches are also used. Two pieces of silk satin, one red and another green, are used as the ground fabrics. The inner border is made of narrow ribbon woven with floral motifs. The outer border is plain woven silk with gold metallic wefts. The back lining is of monochrome green warp patterned silk with a pattern of floral motifs.
Inv. No.: 45
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