Woman’s Mang Ao
Short, side fastening jacket with wide, bell shaped sleeves.
Chinese women in the Qing dynasty were typically excluded from court duties so their mang ao, red dragon jacket, would take the place of court robe in their bridal trousseau. The wives of high-ranking Chinese officials wore jackets decorated with up to 10 dragons, like this one, while the wives of lower-ranking officials wore jackets with fewer dragon. This would be worn over a pleated skirt called a mang chu, also decorated with dragons.The dragons are embroidered with polychrome silk and metallic thread. The metallic thread is applied using the couching method, where the threads are laid in place on top of the ground and couched with small stitches. There are ten dragons, none on the inner flap but two extra ones on the back of the sleeves. They are surrounded by clouds and bats in a scatter design, all above a celestial landscape with peonies superimposed on the waves.
It is lined with blue silk and is in great condition.
Circa: 20th Century
Material: Silk with Silk and Metallic Embroidery
Condition: Very Good
Dimensions: 50" sleeve to sleeve, 24" tall
Inventory number: WR3976