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  • Place of origin:

    Europe (China, made)

  • Date:

    16th century-18th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Woven silk

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This stunning bed cover with a striped pattern in yellow, blue and deep rose pink was woven in China for use in Europe. The braid all around the edges, and the heavy tassels at each corner, were made in Europe. This piece is unusual in that it has survived in its entirety and shows hardly any sign of wear.

Physical description

Bedcover of striped silk damask in three colours, yellow, crimson and blue,with passementerie and tassels in crimson and silver and a plain cherry-coloured silk lining. Each loom width comprises one band of the background colour. The damask was always thought to be Chinese and the bedcover was purchased on this basis. However, it now seems likely to be European (perhaps northern European) because the technical features of the damask seem to mark it out as such. The key to understanding why it was originally thought to be Chinese is in a seminal article by George Wingfield Digby in The Burlington Magazine, LXXVII, 1940, 52-63 and the reason why there are now doubts as to its Chinese provenance lie in the textile analysis work of Milton Sonday, see his article in the Abegg Foundation publication, Riggisberger Berichte, volume 7, ' Linen Damasks: Centres of Production and Collections'. On present evidence, the damask seems to be seventeenth century or later and the lining, passementerie and tassles, twentieth-century.

Place of Origin

Europe (China, made)


16th century-18th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Woven silk


Length: 285 cm, Width: 203 cm

Object history note

Purchased. Registered File number 1976/3232.

Descriptive line

Bedcover, stripe-patterned damask weave silk, probably European, 16th-18th century

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

Wilson, Verity Chinese Textiles London: V&A Publications, 2005, Page 25, Image 24


Silk (textile)


Damask weaving

Subjects depicted

Lozenges; Floral patterns; Stripes




East Asia Collection

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