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

Pheasant; beauty, good fortune, high rank emblem of civil officials. Butterfly; joy, conjugal felicity. Lotus; purity, feminine genius. Prunus; winter flower. Cherry; feminine beauty. Fungus; immortality, longevity. Bat; longevity, prosperity, happiness.

Physical description

Plain cloth embroidered with black circular motifs of various pheasant, lotus, prunus, cherry and other flowers, and leaves. Butterflies along top and bottom between motifs. Pheasant, butterfly and flora at each bottom corner. Two bands, one of brown ribbon on the inside and an outer blue band form a three sided border.