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  • Place of origin:

    China (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1600 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Kesi tapestry weaving

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

A similar hanging is found in the Tashilhunpo Monastery in Tibet. During the Ming period, textiles were exchanged between the Ming court and Tibet as diplomatic gifts. Hangings such as this were possibly intended for such exchanges.

The phoenix at the top with longer tail feathers is male, and the phoenix at the bottom with curled tail feathers is female.

Physical description

Panel with a picture of phoenixes in silk tapestry weave

Place of Origin

China (made)


ca. 1600 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Kesi tapestry weaving


Length: 198.1 cm, Width: 142.2 cm

Object history note

A coloured ( tinted?)photograph of this piece appears in the popular Chinese magazine Liangyou Huabao number 51, 1930 although by this time it was already owned by the V&A. It is recognizable by the repairs at the bottom. The caption in English just says: 'Phoenixes: A Chinese Textile'. This pictorial magazine,published out of Shanghai, a miscellany of fashion, social calendar for the young always seems to have included somethimg about art.

Descriptive line

Tex, China, woven, silk

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

W.Watson, L'art de l'ancienne Chine, Mazenod, Paris 1979, Col plate 184.
"Oriental Art at the V&A", p.28.


Tapestry weave

Subjects depicted



East Asia Collection

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