Length of Bizarre Silk - ROM2011_11769_13


Length of Bizarre Silk

Maker: In the style of James Leman (1688-1745)
Medium:Silk lampas brocaded with silk and gilded and silvered paper-wrapped silk threads
Geography: Made in China for the European market
Date: c. 1708
Period: Kangxi (r. 1661-1722), Qing Dynasty
112 x 55 cm
Object number: 2010.29.1
Credit Line: This acquisition was made possible by the generous support of the Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust
Not on view
DescriptionBizarre Silk with two design repeats in the width featuring a column capital and broken archway, bulbous vase-like object, curling strapwork, striped ribbon and floral embellishments. Cobalt blue ground with much of the design in gold, details in pastel silks and some silver. It may be that a drawing or silk designed by James Leman served as the model for this Chinese export silk. The Chinese export version of the design has recognizably Asian elements throughout. The cluster of scalloped tabs which fans out from the archway bears a striking resemblance to adornment found on Chinese porcelain, textiles and costumes; it is also reminiscent of the depiction of the mound at the foot of the Tree of Life on many 18th century Indian chintz palampore and the wave designs in many Chinese and Japanese textiles and costume. The pendant tassels, long leaf-like and feather-like design elements also come from Chinese and Japanese decorative vocabulary. The cobalt blue satin ground would be quite common in China whereas it is not typical of European Bizarre Silks.
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