Emperor's Court Robe thumbnail 1
Emperor's Court Robe thumbnail 2
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
China, Room 44, The T.T. Tsui Gallery

Emperor's Court Robe

1875-1908 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Formal court robe for an emperor known as chaopao. This is a full length robe with a fully gathered skirt. It is right-side fastening with gilt buttons. It has long and tight sleeves with horse-hoof cuffs. The skirt is pleated at waist level.

The robe has a yellow twill (2/1) ground embroidered with floss silks and gilt threads in satin stitch and couched work. The robe bears the ‘twelve symbols’: the Sun and Moon discs are on shoulders. The three star Constellation and the Mountain are at neck level. The Axe Head, the Fusymbol (resembling two Es back to back), the Pheasant and the Dragon are on the upper part of the garment. The pair of Sacrificial Cups, the Flames, the Waterweed and the Grains are on the skirt band.

The garment has a yellow silk plain weave lining throughout.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silk twill ground embroidered with floss silks and metallic thread, lined with silk
Brief Description
Emperor's formal court robe of embroidered silk twill, China, 1875-1908
Physical Description
Formal court robe for an emperor known as chaopao. This is a full length robe with a fully gathered skirt. It is right-side fastening with gilt buttons. It has long and tight sleeves with horse-hoof cuffs. The skirt is pleated at waist level.



The robe has a yellow twill (2/1) ground embroidered with floss silks and gilt threads in satin stitch and couched work. The robe bears the ‘twelve symbols’: the Sun and Moon discs are on shoulders. The three star Constellation and the Mountain are at neck level. The Axe Head, the Fusymbol (resembling two Es back to back), the Pheasant and the Dragon are on the upper part of the garment. The pair of Sacrificial Cups, the Flames, the Waterweed and the Grains are on the skirt band.



The garment has a yellow silk plain weave lining throughout.
Dimensions
  • Length: 146cm
  • Width: 218cm
Style
Credit line
Bequeathed by W. Llewellyn Jones
Object history
Formerly in the Vuilleumier collection.



Yellow court robes would have been worn by the Qing emperors on special occasions such as sacrifice at the Altar of Earth, New Year day and the emperor's birthday. The shade of yellow, known as 'bright yellow' or 'imperial yellow', was reserved for the emperor, the empress and the empress dowager only.
Production
Guangxu Emperor's reign
Collection
Accession Number
T.753-1950

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record createdDecember 6, 2002
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