Stunning and dramatic.
The magenta silk ground woven with nine gold full and side facing five clawed dragons, each chasing a flaming pearl (the eleixir of life), in a cloud filled sky with white, pale pink and blue clouds, surrounded by the attributes of The Eight Immortals*, bats (happiness) cranes (longevity), the roundel symbol for long life and some Buddhist symbols**, including the Endless Knot and all above mountains emerging from a deep lishui wave border, pavillions and turbulent waves, all woven in gold wrapped silk thread and coloured silks in pale blue, pink, white, soft red the round neck and front side facing of black silk woven with dragons, the edges with gold beaten onto rice paper, secured with brass engraved buttons and silk loops, opening to reveal the ninth dragon, the long sleeves with horseshoe cuffs, also on black silk.
Arm span 2.3 m
Very very good. The edge of the black silk bordering the neck area has a little damage. Here gold leaf has been beaten and adhered to a rice paper, which has then be cut into the finest strips and adhered to the edge of the black silk band. Some of the gold has rubbed to reveal the fine paper. This is always a problem with this technique.
* The Eight Immortals were persons who, for various reasons and in diverse ways, achieved immortality. Their attributes symbolized the successful search for everlasting life and became associated with wishes for good fortune. The robe has the pair of castanets belonging to Ts'ao Kuo-ch'iu; the basket of peaches of Lan Ts'ai-ho; the sword of Lu Tung-pin; the pilgrim's gourd of Li T'ieh-kuai; the bamboo tube and rods of Chang Kuo Lao; Han Hsiang-tzu's flute and Chung-li Chuan's fan.
** Buddhist Symbols - The Endless Knot (everlasting love of thr Buddha); the Canopy (symbol of the monarch who shelters all living things); Fish (a rebus symbol yu - abundance)and the lotus (purity).
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