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A Chinese late C19th silk altar cloth or bed hanging

A Chinese late C19th silk altar cloth or bed hanging

Code: 240421


A stunning Chinese silk altar cloth or bed hanging of blue and white flowers and butterflies on a red ground. The embroidery is in satin stitch. The main panels are bordered with further blue and white flowers on a black background with embellishments in metallic gold couching.  The main panel has a linen/cotton band at the top – the whole panel is backed in the same material. 

For a similar decoration on a wedding robe dated to 1880, see p161 in 'Threads of Gold' by Paul Haig and Marla Shelton

Length: 196 cm    (77”)    
Depth (excluding linen band): 45.5 (18”)
Linen band 6.5cm deep (2.6”)

Date: late Nineteenth Century c1880-1900

Condition: The main panel is in good condition with a few small holes in the red silk. These are losses to areas of the black border, caused by the breakdown of the mordant dyes, revealing the red silk background.  These losses are most obvious in parts of the bottom border where there are also some losses to the related embroidery. Modern black ribbon has been inserted in these parts to maintain the appearance of the background.