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  • Place of origin:

    Guangdong (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1880-1920 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk crêpe ground with twisted silk embroidery, knotted fringe at sides.

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs. N. Iliffe. From the collection of her mother, Lady Pickthorn.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This type of embroidered, fringed shawl is frequently known by its nickname, the manila de manton or the 'Manila Shawl', because they were made by Chinese embroiderers or traded by Chinese traders from Manila, Philippines, for export to Seville, Spain.

The Philippines came under Spanish rule in from 1565 as the Spanish East Indies, and was administered under the Viceroyalty of New Spain (with its capital in Mexico City) until 1821. In 1821, colonial administration was handed over directly to Spain, and direct trade opened between Manila and Seville in Southern Spain. Such shawls were commonly depicted as being worn by women from this date. While their popularity as export goods later spread beyond Spain into other parts of Europe, there is a strong likelihood that these shawls originally had very strong associations with the Spanish flamenco dance.

Although made by Chinese artisans, such shawls, and their long fringes were never part of the Chinese clothing tradition. However in the earlier part of the twentieth century, Chinese women began to wear shawls whether in a bid to express the ostentation of being able to afford 'Western-style' dress, or to adapt to 'modern' fashion.

Physical description

Shawl. Black silk crêpe ground embroidered with white twisted silks in satin stitch. Both the central panel and the borders are heavily embroidered with flowers ( plumb blossom, peonies, chrysanthemum and butterflies). Knotted fringe of white twisted silks at sides.

Place of Origin

Guangdong (possibly, made)


1880-1920 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Silk crêpe ground with twisted silk embroidery, knotted fringe at sides.


Height: 140.0 cm, Width: 148.0 cm

Object history note

Registered File number 1983/775.

Descriptive line

Shawl, silk crêpe ground embroidered with twisted silk, Guangdong, China, Qing dynasty-Republican China, 1880-1920.

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

Clunas, Craig, ed. Chinese Export Art and Design. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1987. (similar designs: pp. 32-33) ISBN 1851770003
Wilson, Verity. Chinese textiles. London: V&A publications, 2005, plate 28. ISBN 1851774386

Production Note

Guangdong province ?, China

Subjects depicted

Peonies; Flower (plum); Butterflies; Flowers, Chrysanthemums


Embroidery; Textiles; Women's clothes


East Asia Collection

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