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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:25 pm
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Location: NYC
Hi,

I have recently acquired the below textile, a cape made up of dozens of separate embroidered elements lined up on strings protruding from the collar. The only information the seller was able to give was "northern china". I have never seen anything quite like it and would be grateful for any information on what exactly this might be.
Thanks in advance.

Florian


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china[1].JPG
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:40 pm 
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Hi Florian
Is this piece in fact circular when laid out flat and the various components fully extended? At first glance it does appear to be a Han Chinese capelet and, from its size and visible embroidery, one worn by an adult female.
I have seen these variously broken up into the smaller components which are then incorporated into a range of decorative items such as bed hangings, children's bibs, purses, spectacle holders, etc.. The embroidery usually depicts symbolism that is relatively easy to access and if you have the time and images to post there are a number on the forum who can help!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:15 pm 
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Location: NYC
Iain,

you're right, it is indeed circular, with several "chains" of elements branching out from the collar, when laid out flat. Will try to provide more detailed photographs later. Are these quite common pieces? There are more where I got them.
Thanks!!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:42 pm 
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I have had a hunt through my books on Chinese dress. There seems to be a tradition of detachable collars although most I could find were quite restrained with only about one tier of of pieces. However, just when I was running out of material, I had a look in a catalogue of an exhibition presented by Linda Wrigglesworth "'The Accessory' China" in her Brook Street, London gallery in April 1991. On page 12 is a collar with 3 layers of shapes, macrame 'net' similar to yours on which hang a circle of tassels. The text says:
Quote:
"A lady's collar worn for celebrations. The cloud shaped layers are embellished with Pekin glass jewels and satin stitch embroidery. The three layers end in multi-coloured tassels hanging from a macrame netting. These collars gave the wearer added good fortune as the embroidered symbols represent well wishes and the movement of the tassels in the breeze warded away evil spirits. Circa 1880. Condition. Very good."


There is another collar - much more square in the way it is shaped and hangs, also three layers and this is Circa 1860. In a 1986 book for the V&A Museum "Chinese Dress" by Verity Wilson there are some smaller collars and it is noted that the ones in the V&A collection were all from the 19th century.

I have an email address for Linda Wrigglesworth - not sure how current - and I will see if I can get her permission to post the photo on the forum of the collar on page 12 from her Accessories book as it has considerable similaries to yours. She has photographed hers lying flat and spread out into as much of a circle as possible although it does not make a complete, flat circumference. Looks pretty striking and you might want to try that with yours!

I see that yesterday (19 Mar) was the sale of Linda's collection at Christie's in New York. She may be somewhat distracted at the moment! http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... php?t=1117

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 5:31 pm 
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Linda Wrigglesworth got back to me today and gave permission for me to post the collar from "'The Accessory' China" - detailed information in my post above.

Linda asked me to remind everyone of her contact details for her new consultant only status:

Linda Wrigglesworth Ltd
By appointment only
Mailing address: Suite 362
19-21 Crawford Street
London
W1H 1PJ
England

+44 (0)20 7486 8990
+44 (0)20 7935 1511
info@lindawrigglesworth.com
www.lindawrigglesworth.com


Attachments:
File comment: Photo of a lady's collar worn for celebrations. The cloud shaped layers are embellished with Pekin glass jewels and satin stitch embroidery. The three layers end in multi-coloured tassels hanging from a macrame netting. These collars gave the wearer added
Han_collar_LW.jpg
Han_collar_LW.jpg [ 67.97 KiB | Viewed 12112 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:25 pm
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Location: NYC
Thanks so much for your replies!!
I have finally come round to making more photographs of the piece. It's not unlike Linda Wrigglesworth's though it looks substantially larger.
It also needs some restoration work...
Florian


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detail4_w2.jpg
detail4_w2.jpg [ 59.96 KiB | Viewed 12047 times ]
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detail1_w4.jpg
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img_0036w5.jpg
img_0036w5.jpg [ 68.06 KiB | Viewed 12046 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:23 pm 
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I have found an article in the Fall 2007 (Vol 15 Issue 3) edition of the Newsletter of the Textile Society of Hong Kong http://www.textilesocietyofhk.org/ (of which I am a member) on Chinese collars: "Beyond Beauty and Skills: Symbolism in Chinese Embroidered Collars" by Sally Leung. (Sally Leung is 'an independent curator of Chinese decorative arts, collector, teacher of Chinese brush art at Pixar Animation Studios, and also a Commissioner at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco'.) The collars (6) which she shows in her article are from the Naidongtang Collection in San Francisco.

Quote:
"The term yunjian, or cloud collar, literally means "auspicious clouds (puns with good fortune) over the shoulders" in Chinese but more typically refers to a detachable ornamental collar used to adorn the shoulders of garment for Chinese women and children."
I was interested to read in the caption for a collar with tassels that
Quote:
"Cloud collar with multi-colored tassels, nineteenth century. Tassels share the same sound as years, therefore long tassels represent long life. Multi-color, or duocai, symbolizes great luck."


The article is a main feature for this edition of the TSHK Newsletter with colour photos of cloud collars on front and back covers as well as 4 black and white photos inside, a detail shot of one collar, a Manchu woman's jacket and a photo of the German consul to China family at the turn of the 20th century with his wife wearing a cloud collar. I will contact the Newsletter editor and see if there is any availability of individual copies of the Newsletter.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:33 pm 
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I had a message back overnight from the TSHK Newsletter editor:
Quote:
We should be posting the past year of newsletters on the web shortly. This is a good reminder as I think I was to do this a while ago! Give me a few days to figure out how to get it on our site and then you should be able to download the article in PDF format.

I will keep an eye on it and post here when the pdf is live. This particular issue of the TSHK newsletter was rather a good one.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:01 pm 
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In connection with another thread http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... php?t=1136 I have been looking through the book: "The costumes and adornments of Chinese Yi Nationality Picture Album" published by Beijing Arts and Crafts Publishing House, preface dated Sep 1989, first printing 1990, second printing 1994 ISBN 7-80526-033-8. On page 66 I found a picture of a 'cloud' style collar which I post here. The picture information is:
Quote:
Cape. This cape is mourning apparel for the eldest daughter-in-law of the dead. Yi people of Panxian County [Guizhou] have this custom.

This would seem to be a quite different usage from a good fortune collar when worn by the Han.


Attachments:
File comment: Cape. This cape is mourning apparel for the eldest daughter-in-law of the dead. Yi people of Panxian County [Guizhou] have this custom from page 66 of The costumes and adornments of Chinese Yi Nationality Picture Album
Yi-panxian.jpg
Yi-panxian.jpg [ 66.98 KiB | Viewed 11902 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:26 am 
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I took a couple pictures of this outfit last night as I was exiting the National Center for the Performing Arts (aka the "The Egg") here in Beijing.

It is a complete woman's costume from the imperial Qing court.

You can see the layered cloud collar quite clearly, and it's use in relation to the rest of the costume.

Also, if you look very carefully, under the paneled overskirt(s), there is a pleated skirt, similar I believe, to those which are posted in this thread http://www.tribaltextiles.info/community/viewtopic.php?t=1155


Attachments:
CIMG1517_600x600_80KB.jpg
CIMG1517_600x600_80KB.jpg [ 72.56 KiB | Viewed 11746 times ]
CIMG1516_600x600_80KB.jpg
CIMG1516_600x600_80KB.jpg [ 63.38 KiB | Viewed 11745 times ]
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:12 pm 
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Thanks for the beautiful photos.

Steven


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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 3:27 pm 
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I managed to get the Textiles Society of Hong Kong to very kindly send me the pdf file of the Fall 2007 Newsletter with the article BEYOND BEAUTY AND SKILLS: SYMBOLISM IN CHINESE EMBROIDERED COLLARS by Sally Yu Leung. I have split out the pages of the cover (as front and back pages had colour photos of collars with info on the reverse) and the three pages (4, 5, 6) of the article and then combined them into one pdf file collars.pdf which I attach here. The images are, I am afraid, very 'blocky' in the pdf file. However, I think for the purposes of this thread the text and perhaps the B&W family photo at the end of the article are the most important.


Attachments:
File comment: file of article BEYOND BEAUTY AND SKILLS: SYMBOLISM IN CHINESE EMBROIDERED COLLARS by Sally Yu Leung from the Fall edition of the Newsletter of the Textile Society of Hong Kong
collars.pdf [462.63 KiB]
Downloaded 463 times

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 Post subject: Yi funeral apparel
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 1:50 am 
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Regarding the use of this type of collar as Yi funeral wear: I was speaking with a friend recently returned from China where she had been living and working in Yunnan Province for some years and in our conversation the forum came up (surprise surprise :P ). She said that this kind of collar is not only worn by the eldest daughter-in-law but but also by senior female relatatives during funeral rites. Interestingly this collar is not worn around the neck but on the women's head.


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 Post subject: Tiered collar images
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 1:59 am 
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I share a cape I recently received as a gift here in Taiwan. On page 140 of "Symbolism of Chinese Children’s Bibs" by Christi Lan Lin, a less ornate - embroidery only appearing on the lower panels - example appears orginiating in Shandong.
There were originally four levels to the cape shown here: the tassels on this cape example have been removed although remnants indicate that these were braided silk. On the right hand side one of the “strings” is also missing. The strings linking all the pieces together were initially strung with glass beads many of which have not survived. Apart from this the cape survives intact and an excellent example of symbolism and embroidery skill. All the strings are attached to a black silk brocade collar band that is closed with Chinese knot buttons.
Embroidery is done in silk onto black silk which forms the front of each panel which is in turn backed by handwoven pink silk. Couched gold threads are used to edge each panel – 4, 5 and 6 threads for the 1st, 2nd and last tiers respectively.
The 1st and 2nd tiers are in the shape of ruyi clouds whilst the last appears in the shape of a leaf. From the central string the embroidered panels are symmetrical in their imagery except for two stings that have been interchanged. This is seen more easily on panels forming the lowest tier where the “string” depicting a magpie and two fruits has been interchanged with that of a butterfly. The symbols depicted embody wealth, joy, happiness, longevity, pace, good fortune, abundance, fruitfulness and success.


Attachments:
File comment: Han cape
Cp.Han.08.1.jpg
Cp.Han.08.1.jpg [ 57.34 KiB | Viewed 11354 times ]
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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 6:22 am 
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On the page facing the contents page and on page 105 of the guidebook: The Clothes and Ornaments of Yunnan Ethnic Groups are images of the collar worn as a headdress as described above! On page 105 this image is said to be of a woman from the Bailuo branch of the Yi group located in Funing County, Yunnan Province.


Attachments:
File comment: Yi group (Bailuo branch) Funing County, Yunnan.
Cheng, Zhi-fang & Li, An-tai, 2000. The Clothes and Ornaments of Yunnan Ethnic Groups. Yunnan Peoples Publishing House. p. 105

Yi headcollar front view.JPG
Yi headcollar front view.JPG [ 387.84 KiB | Viewed 11312 times ]
File comment: Yi group (Bailuo branch) Funing County, Yunnan.
Cheng, Zhi-fang & Li, An-tai, 2000. The Clothes and Ornaments of Yunnan Ethnic Groups. Yunnan Peoples Publishing House. (facing Contents page)

Yi headcollar back view.jpg
Yi headcollar back view.jpg [ 81.8 KiB | Viewed 11312 times ]
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