Valance

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

utilitarian;household

Iconographic meaning

Lion, defender of law, protector of sacred buildings, sometimes called the "dog of fo" due to its being found at the threshold of Buddhist temples; lion is also an emblem of valour, energy.

Physical description

Rectangular, brocade valance of cream fabric with black design; lower edge has tassels. The design consists of three stylized lions separated by stylized flowers and leaf sprays. Central lion has floral design on body, feathery head and tail. Lion on left, lacks one foreleg and has spider on its body. Lion on right, lacks outline at rear and appears to merge into a leaf design with large insect. Large leaf at left has a butterfly on it. Floral motifs separating lions are circular with scalloped edges, pointed leaves radiating, trailing thorny branches. Upper edge is unfinished, both sides narrowly hemmed.