Chinese sleeve band featuring butterflies – last quarter of 19th Century

Chinese sleeve band featuring butterflies – last quarter of 19th Century

250.00

When the Manchus conquered China in 1644 (Qing dynasty) their costume was a hybrid mix of their own nomadic traditions and those of the sedentary silk weaving Han people. During the previous Ming dynasty the Han women had embroidered the sleeve ends of their robes and this idea was adopted when the the Manchus came to power. It is not known how this tradition came about but a fairly logical explanation is that when eating or perhaps embroidering or painting , the sleeves would be folded back and pushed up the arm, which is what we would do today. In time the folded back portion of sleeve was then embellished.

There are many themes but one of the most popular was butterflies (longevity) sipping the nectar from peonies (spring). Together these two represent a lover tasting the joys of love. Other subjects might be people in gardens or on terraces surrounded by pavilions, birds and insects, horses, animals, fruits, and a great variety of flowers.

Embroidered onto a silk background, the design has been created in long and short stitch and satin stitch, with a subtle range from soft to deep blues.  The thread is an unspun silk, which is particularly difficult for the embroiderer to master.    

This panel is framed, mounted and glazed

Product code:  1118

Size:  670mm x 250mm

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