Imperial Chinese Dragon Robe CT23


A rare 19th century Imperial Chinese winter fur dragon robe. Robe is finely embroidered in satin stitch and gold couching on blue satin ground. It is decorated with nine large five-clawed dragons among clouds, bats, lingzhi, the Taoist and Buddhist emblems. The base of the robe and part of the sleeves are accented with tumultuous waves. The lining is sewn with ermine fur, and wrists sewn sable. Very good condition and strong bright color, no tear or hole on the surface of the robe, only some loose thread (can be repair easily) and age lost of some fur (mostly around the inside of wrists). 

Size: 140cm x 190cm.

A very similar one sold at Christie's on June 13, 2013 for US$46,816.
This one is as nice as the one on Christie's if it is not better disregard our poor photography skill.
See link: 
Fur-lined robes of this type are now rare. Few officials could afford such costly furs and many others would have only worn heavily padded robes beneath their normal dragon robes. The wearer of this robe must have been very highly placed and extremely wealthy. It was also customary for officials to be buried in their finest winter robes. For this dragon robe to have survived, the original owner must have also owned winter Robes of State, the most formal type of court robe, and have gone to meet his ancestors wearing them. As such, this indicated the wearer would have had regular ceremonial duties in the palace. After the fall of the Qing dynasty, many now redundant court robes were stripped of their furs to make other more fashionable coats. The robe is therefore a remarkable survival.
According to the Imperial Qing dress code and regulation, the imperial nobility were actually permitted to have nine five claws dragons on their robes, the ninth dragon being hidden on the inside flap of the robe. By the mid-19th century almost all Chinese officials had adopted the ninth dragon but may not have 5 claws. Only a few, mainly descendants of very old mandarin families, closely followed the law.




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