About this object

History of use

Blue and white embroideries are part of a long 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

Deer; longevity. Dragon; goodness, strength, life. Butterfly; joy, brightness, true love. Mace; power, authority. Book bundle is one of the eight treasures. Fungus; immortality.

Physical description

Long, rectangular, brocade textile of cream fabric and indigo detailing; selvage at top and bottom; hemmed at ends. Motif on left is an animal with flower pattern; a dotted vase with flowers and fruit, a dragon behind. The centre vase on a stand has a flower pattern, contains fruit and flowers while behind are butterflies, diamond mace and scrolls. Patterned vase and stand on right, contains four pointed leaves, flowers, vines and fungus; behind are books with scrolls. Horned animal on right. Between vases at left and centre is long billed bird on branch with fruit and flowers.