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Robe

1650-1700 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This sumptuous robe made for use in Daoist religious ceremonies is embroidered with 350 deities and immortals. Originally, many of these personages had their names written beside them, but these have now largely worn away. This is a 'robe of descent' - square in shape, sleeveless, with a round hole for the neck. It would have rested on the shoulders of the Daoist priest, and when he held up his arms, its decorative scheme would have been seen in all its glory by the onlookers.
The 350 deities depicted represent the gods of the Daoist pantheon, including the Three Purities, the Three Celestial Worthies and the Jade Emperor.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Satin silk with embroidery in coloured silks and gold thread
Brief Description
Robe of a Daoist priest, satin silk with embroidery in coloured silks and gold thread, China, Qing dynasty, 1650-1700
Physical Description
Daoist priests were very important people, and the sumptuousness of their costumes reflects this. This garment is lavishly embroidered with nearly 350 Daoist figures of immortals and higher gods.



The design consists of a large central panel of terracotta coloured satin embroidered with the Daoist heaven in coloured silks and gold thread.

The panel is framed in a wide border of yellow satin, embroidered with Daoist sages among clouds in coloured silks and gold thread.
Dimensions
  • Height: 127cm
  • Width: 2142mm
Style
Credit line
Given by Mrs A. Chester Beatty
Object history
Registered File number 1928/4277.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This sumptuous robe made for use in Daoist religious ceremonies is embroidered with 350 deities and immortals. Originally, many of these personages had their names written beside them, but these have now largely worn away. This is a 'robe of descent' - square in shape, sleeveless, with a round hole for the neck. It would have rested on the shoulders of the Daoist priest, and when he held up his arms, its decorative scheme would have been seen in all its glory by the onlookers.

The 350 deities depicted represent the gods of the Daoist pantheon, including the Three Purities, the Three Celestial Worthies and the Jade Emperor.
Bibliographic References
  • Kerr, Rose ed. Chinese art and design. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1991, p. 79.
  • Wilson, Verity. 'Cosmic Raiment: Daoist Traditions of Liturgical Clothing' in Orientations, May 1995, pp. 42-49.
Collection
Accession Number
T.91-1928

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record createdDecember 15, 1999
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