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Philadelphia, PA 19147
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Depicting a large sinuous five-clawed dragon in gold and colored thread above two smaller dragons over waves and rock-work, among colorful clouds and auspicious symbols. The upper register depicting two qilin among colorful clouds, a floral and scroll band below. Later dark blue canvas backing.
Provenance: By descent in the family of Augustus Thorndike Perkins (1827-1891) to the mother of the present owners. This tapestry hung for many years in the family summer house, "Sandanwood", Cotuit, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, built in 1863 by Mr. Perkins, heir to an East India trade fortune.
NOTE: Stylistically, this treatment of the dragon and decorative motifs has been dated to the late Ming to early Qing periods. See the detail of a table frontal which incorporated peacock feathers into the weave, dated circa 1600-1650, illustrated in John E. Vollmer, "Five Colours of the Universe, Symbolism in clothes and Fabrics of the Ch'ing Dynasty (1644-1911)", Hong Kong, 1981, p. 19; see also a similar table frontal panel dated to the late Ming-Early Qing period, 1600-1750, in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, illustrated in Dieter Kuhn et al, "Chinese Silk", Yale 2012, p. 422, fig. 8.68. See also the panel, likely a table frontal, sold at Sotheby's London, November 5, 2008, lot 372, and a gold-ground example, sold Christie's London, November 10, 2015, lot 610. The present example is far larger and more compositionally complex than these.
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