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

Crane; longevity. Butterfly; joy, conjugal felicity. Cock; wealth, life of the universe. Pair of fish; connubial bliss, harmony. Carp; perseverance. Pomegranate; offspring, posterity. Citron; Buddha's hand, wealth, divine protection.

Physical description

White valance with black design. Nine motifs of two overlapping circles containing floral, fruit, and bird designs; alternating in two rows with nine stylized fish, bird and flower designs. Upper central motif is a flower and a small bird; inner motif at left, crane; inner motif at right, butterfly; outer motif on left, bird on branch; outer motif on right, crane. Four lower motifs: cock; pair of fish with lotus; carp with weed; shrimp with weed. Pomegranate and citron in upper corners on left. Sides and lower edge finished with black bias strip.