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Imperial Manchu Surcoat 

China.  Mid 19th century

Silk and gold metallic k'o-ssu tapestry (kesi). 65"across the shoulders; 50½"long.  This surcoat has eight five-claw lung dragons of gold metallic within celestial landscapes filled with Buddhist symbols.  Four are full- front-facing dragons and four are in profile, denoting a higher imperial rank than if dragons in profile appeared throughout.  The hemline is ornamented with waves and mountains of the celestial landscape.  The cuffs carry smaller dragon medallions. The coat has five gilt-metal ball and loop toggle buttons, and it is lined with pale blue silk damask having a floral motif.

The robe is in frail condition, but small, fragile areas have been stabilized on the underneath side, especially along the shoulder fold line  and back neck line. There is also a small, unobtrusive old patch at the shoulder/back neckline. This rare piece is excellent for display, but requires careful handling.   SOLD


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