20th Century, Republic Period, Chinese, silk, embroidered, Dragon, theater [ Chinese opera] costume/robe. Inventive, gaudy and purposely exaggerated to be visible from a distance, such robes were often embellished via bold colors, large symbols/imagery, and mirrored accents, crafted from sturdy materials including a cotton/bast lining with padding, and to fit loosely so that performers could change quickly.
Our robe is quite ornate and flamboyant, and is reminiscent of classic dress. Rendered upon bold red satin silk, it is lavishly decorated with eight, dimensional, 4-clawed Dragons (three on the front; five on the reverse) chasing flaming pearls among whimsical cumulus clouds, auspicious bats, and above crashing waves and mountains within the lower registers and along the edges of the sleeve bands. Couched, gold metallic thread, with couched, silver metallic accents, has been prominently used throughout and has been embellished not only with bright, vividly-hued, lightly spun silk thread, but with polychrome, couched, silk cording. Bright, green, silk side panels provide added aesthetics to the front of the robe and have been flanked with gorgeous, flying birds (most likely Silver Pheasants), wispy cumulus clouds, bold sun disks, as well as lotus blossoms and auspicious Hsi characters (signifying joy). Decorative, Chinese characters adorn the collar. As with other theater/opera costume robes, ours has a natural-hued, cotton/bast fiber lining that is padded. Please see photos for more details of this truly amazing robe!
This theater/opera robe would be a show-stopper as a decorator’s piece, focal point of a large room, or within anyone’s collection, serious or novice alike. It’s a must-have!!
Please note, this robe shows signs of wear commensurate with age and actual use to include loose threads, minor silk breakdown, thread loss, repairs/mends, soiling, and minor bleeding/staining (padded lining).
Dimensions: 115” x 56”
20th C. Republic Period Chinese Silk Embroidered Dragon Theater/Opera Robe
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