Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
China, Room 44, The T.T. Tsui Gallery

Scroll

1860-1880 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This hanging scroll is a typical example of the kind of fine embroidery work that enjoyed a flowering at the end of the 19th century in China. The 'flower and bird' theme was inspired by a painting, complete with a poetic stanza on the top left corner. Like most Chinese scroll paintings it probably would not have hung permanently on the wall, but was brought out at certain seasons and admired for a while. This type of picture was very much part of the interior design of a well-off household. The fact that it was done with silk threads is evidence that it was not a slavish copy but rather a wholly acceptable way of honouring the original artist.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silk embroidery on silk
Brief Description
Hanging scroll, embroidered silk, China, 1860-1880
Physical Description
Scroll of embroidered silk showing a willow tree, kingfisher and swallows

is a typical example of the kind of fine embroidery work that enjoyed a flowering at this time. It depicts a willow tree with a peony flower growing at its base. Swallows, a kingfisher poised as if ready to dive and a pair of herons complete the composition. Like Chinese scroll paintings it probably would not have hung permanently on the wall, but was brought out at certain seasons and admired for a while. This type of picture is very much a part of the interior design scheme of a well off household. The challenges of creativity were rather differnrntly inflected in China before the twentieth century. The fact that it is painted with silk threads is evidence that it is not a slavish copy but rather a wholly acceptable way of honouring the original artist.
Dimensions
  • Length: 160cm
  • Width: 43cm
Style
Credit line
Given by Thomas Watters Esq.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This hanging scroll is a typical example of the kind of fine embroidery work that enjoyed a flowering at the end of the 19th century in China. The 'flower and bird' theme was inspired by a painting, complete with a poetic stanza on the top left corner. Like most Chinese scroll paintings it probably would not have hung permanently on the wall, but was brought out at certain seasons and admired for a while. This type of picture was very much part of the interior design of a well-off household. The fact that it was done with silk threads is evidence that it was not a slavish copy but rather a wholly acceptable way of honouring the original artist.
Bibliographic Reference
Wilson, Verity. Chinese Textiles. London: V&A Publications, 2005, plate 54.
Collection
Accession Number
1864-1888

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdOctober 18, 2004
Record URL