About this object

History of use

Blue and white embroideries are part of an ancient domestic tradition. Designs vary geographically but are constant within generations of families except for minor individual variations. Often used to decorate the bed which traditionally played a focal part in household ritual particularly at the new year when all household spirits were honored. They are family made, by women, and family owned. These embroideries were of no local commercial value.

Cultural context


Iconographic meaning

Taoist and other symbols of long life, fertility, happiness and prosperity.

Physical description

White cover with blue embroidery. Three narrow pieces are stitched together to create the large rectangular panel. Embroidered in the centre are floral, fruit, butterfly and bat motifs in blue on white ground. The panel has two hemmed and two selvage edges. The back is unlined.