Imperial Court Robe

Period: Qing dynasty (1644–1911)

Date: 17th century

Culture: China

Medium: Silk and metallic thread tapestry (kesi)

Dimensions: Overall: 56 x 74 in. (142.2 x 188 cm)

Classification: Costumes-Tapestries

Credit Line: Bequest of William Christian Paul, 1929

Accession Number: 30.75.5


On this robe, woven from threads of silk and gold, five-clawed dragons (long), clouds, and flaming jewels appear against a rich blue ground above waves and mountains. Scattered among the dragons are variants of the Chinese character shou (longevity), making this robe an especially appropriate garment for birthday celebrations.

The embroidered neck and sleeve bands were made later than the tapestry-woven textile used for the robe.