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See full details Description

Square-shaped silk table frontal with a flap. The main panel has a large bloom in the centre, probably a peony, as well as other flower motifs, a butterfly in the bottom left corner, and a phoenix at the top. The imagery is worked in satin stitch, Peking knot stitch and couched gold-coloured metal-wrapped thread. One area is unfinished. Multi-coloured silk threads are used on a red satin ground. Two black satin bands hang over the main image; each has poems in the form of eight different Chinese characters worked in gold thread. The right hand one has two metal bells attached. There is an applied floral braid in continuous supplementary warp on three sides. The flap has three square panels. The centre one depicts a peony, flanked by two animals, probably Buddhist lions. Both sections are lined with blue silk damask. A separate damask fabric with a different weave is stitched along the top and forms a sleeve. The reverse shows something of its original yellow colour.


altar cloth

1 item (description level: whole)
Broad category
Anthropology: Ethnography
Additional names, titles, or classifications
catalogue name:  altar cloth
object name (Horniman Ethno.):  altar cloth

China, East Asia, Asia
Additional place information
made or collected:  China 
Date made
late 19th or early 20th century
Additional date information
date made:  late 19th century 
date made:  early 20th century 
label date:  late 19th or early 20th century 

Materials & techniques
metal; thread; silk; braid; damask; couching; satin; embroidery
Additional material & technique information
material: metal (bells)
material: thread (decoration)
technique: embroidery (decoration)
technique: braid (decoration)
technique: damask (decoration)
technique: satin (decoration)
technique: couching (decoration)
overall: 565 x 525 mm
Additional measurement information
overall: 565 x 525 mm

Related subjects
association: Embroidery
related subject: Daoism
association: Buddhism
related subject: Textiles
object name: altar cloths
technique: embroidery
material: silk
material: thread
technique: satin
technique: couching
material: braid
material: metal
technique: damask

Record created 2001-02-27
Record last updated 2018-06-28

Collections information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. More information on the objects listed on our website.

This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be some errors. The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

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