A rare Imperial brown embroidered semi-formal dragon-robe (jifu), Qing dynasty, Qianlong period. Photo Sotheby’s
the brown silk ground couched in gold-wrapped threads with nine five-clawed dragons, one hidden from view, surrounded by multi-colored auspicious clouds interspersed with bats, and sprigs of prunus, narcissus and marigolds, the sleeves and hem bordered by bands of turbulent waves incorporating clouds and auspicious objects with the terrestrial diagram rising above them, all above wavy lishui stripes, the collar band and horse-hoof cuffs at the end of the ribbed sleeve extensions similarly worked with dragons and clouds. Length 58 1/8 in., 147.5 cm; width 74 1/4 in., 188.5 cm. Estimation 120,000 — 180,000 USD
Provenance: Property from a New York Collection.
Christie’s New York, 26th March 2003, lot 70.
PROPERTY FROM THE NORMA CANELAS ROTH COLLECTION OF CHINESE ROBES
Brown-ground jifu are among the rarest, and it is unusual to find a robe decorated with floral springs instead of Buddhist or Daoist auspicious symbols. A Jiaqing period robe with floral sprig decoration is illustrated in John E. Vollmer, Dressed to Rule, 18th Century Court Attire in the MacTaggart Art Collection, Edmonton, 2007, pp. 10-11.
Very few brown robes from the early Qing dynasty survive today. For examples sold in our Hong Kong rooms see 9th October 2007, lot 1331, for a Jiaqing period robe, and 8th October 2013, lot 3088 for an 18th century kesi example.
SOTHEBY’S. FINE CHINESE CERAMICS & WORKS OF ART, NEW YORK | 16 SEPT. 2014, 10:30 AM