Chinese Bridal Outfit

This heavily embroidered bridal outfit, fabricated in 1916, is a fine example of the exceptional workmanship that could still be found in special occasion wear well into the 20th century. Made at a time when Western style wedding dresses were also in vogue, this form fitting jacket and skirt combination is typical in its decoration of the quasi official bridal attire of late Ch’ing. Istead of dragon or phoenix decoration, however, peacocks have been used. The peacock was considered the correct emblem for the second wife in a traditional household while the phoenix was reserved for wife number two.

This outfit was given to Faith Price in 1916 for her 16th birthday by her uncle, James A. Thomas. At the time, Thomas was based in China managing the British-American Tobacco Company. He had the outfit custom-made for her in Singapore. It is accompanied with a pair of Western style high heel shoes that are similarly decorated.


Circa: 1916

Origin: China

Material: Silk and Metallic Thread

Condition: Minor unravelling to metal thread embroidery and very light staining. Shoes show signs of wear. Very good condition


Inventory number: WR3999



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