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  • Place of origin:

    China (made)

  • Date:

    late 19th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk satin with embroidery in satin, Peking knot stitch and couched work, plain weave cotton

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs N. M. Aird

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Han Chinese woman's wedding skirt. Red silk satin ground embroidered in coloured floss silks in satin, Peking knot stitch and in gold thread in couched work. Green satin silk damask with self-patterned stems and bats lining. The upper part of the skirt is made of a white plain weave cotton waistband which fastened with cotton tapes and press and studs. Decoration is concentrated across the lower edge of the skirt, which remains the only visible era under the calf-length upper garment that would be worn with it. The two main, straight, densely-embroidered panel are embroidered with a five-clawed front facing dragon chasing the sacred pearl, amid coloured clouds and above shallow stripes of lishui (standing water). These front-panels are trimmed with a narrow black satin band, a wider white satin band embroidered with coloured floss silks in satin stitch and gold thread in couched work. The other pleated panel are embroidered with either a phoenix or a passing dragon above shallow stripes of lishui (standing water) and are trimmed with a plain black satin band.

When the skirt is worn, wrap-around style, both the decorated straight panels are at back and front, with the pleats flaring out at the sides.

Place of Origin

China (made)


late 19th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Silk satin with embroidery in satin, Peking knot stitch and couched work, plain weave cotton


Length: 34 in without waistband, Width: 48 in at waist

Object history note

Three-quarter length upper-garment whether side-fastening or front-fasting would be worn unbelted over skirts, hiding the skirt's waistband and undecorated portion.A Han Chinese woman would wear trousers or leggings, sometimes decorade, beneath her skirt. Trousers were worn without a skirt only by young women and working woman.
Decoration is concentrated across the lower edges, visible under the calf-length upper garment.

T.41 to 45-1945 are said to have been brought from China by a Consul about 1870.

Registered File number 1945/1401.

Descriptive line

Woman's wedding skirt, silk satin, embroidered in floss silks and gold thread, China, Qing dynasty, late 19th century.


Silk (textile); Silk thread; Gold thread; Cotton (textile)


Satin weave; Embroidering; Plain weave

Subjects depicted

Wave pattern; Phoenix birds; Dragons


Textiles; Embroidery; Women's clothes; Informal wear; Day wear; Marriage


East Asia Collection

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