About this object

History of use

There are two types of Qing women’s clothing, the Manchu and the Han styles. By mid to late Qing, the two styles had influenced each other and they became similar. The most significant change to fashion during the Qing Dynasty is the use of buttons. For everyday wear, affluent women would wear a side (Manchu style) or front-fastening (Han style) robe with a wrap-around Han style pleated apron skirt called Ma Mian Qun (馬面裙/马面裙).


The donor, Mary Stimpson was born in China in 1920 and lived there with her family until 1938. Her father was a US citizen who originally worked in the import/export business. Her parents arrived in China around 1915.

Physical description

Gold-coloured silk robe that fastens at the front with three spaced black knot and loop closures. The sleeves have a beige cuff with embroidery at the top. The robe is edged with a dark blue border embroidered with flowers in blue and white, and scrollwork in metal thread. The entire robe is embroidered with multi-coloured flowers and containers.