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  • Place of origin:

    China (made)

  • Date:

    1875 - 1908 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Woven silk with embroidery in silk and gilt thread

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss CJ Wheeler

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Child's Dragon robe. Blue silk twill ground embroidered with coloured floss silks in satin stitch and gold thread in couched work. This child's robe follows the same standard in cut and design than the adult's dragon robe. It is side-fastening (with five gilt buttons), has long and tight sleeves, horse-hoof cuffs (matixiu), and front and back slits, but no slit at side. The robe has a mid-blue plain weave silk lining. Eight dragon motifs are embroidered in gold couched work ( including two front facing dragons). The inside flap does not have the usual ninth dragon embroidered on it as is found on adult dragon robes. Clouds, bats flowers and Buddhist emblems are embroidered in coloured silks in both satin and Pekin knot stitch. Floss silks indicate an inferior quality embroidery.
It was not unknown for boys to wear dragon robes. For a boy from a educated family to wear the same dragon robe as his father he would have been pushed to behave like an adult and to study hard in order to pass the imperial exam and to become a civil official. This robe could have been worn by either a Han or a Manchu boy.

Place of Origin

China (made)


1875 - 1908 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Woven silk with embroidery in silk and gilt thread


Length: 98 cm, Width: 156 cm

Object history note

Registered File number 1972/1148

Descriptive line

Robe, blue woven silk with embroidery in coloured silks and gold thread, China, Qing dynasty, 1875-1908

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Wilson, Verity, 'Chinese Children's Dress' in The V&A Album 4, London: V&A Publications, 1985


Silk (textile); Silk thread; Metal thread


Weaving; Plain weave; Embroidering

Subjects depicted

Floral patterns; Bats (animals); Water; Dragons; Clouds


Children's clothes; Formal wear; Textiles; Embroidery


East Asia Collection

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