China artwork. Ming Embroidery auctioned at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury

China artwork. Ming Embroidery auctioned at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury
Yareah Magazine

China artwork. Ming Embroidery Discovered in Surrey by Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions Specialist Sells for £16,120 on Monday 2nd December. London auctions.


Ming Embroidery auctioned at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury

Known as a kesi or ‘cut silk’, the embroidery was among items taken to a valuation day at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions where it was spotted by specialist Dr. Benedetta Mottino. Its owner had no idea of its significance and was delighted to be told of its estimate £8,000 – 10,000.

From the late 16th or early 17th century, the badge is worked in peacock feather filament and threads of red, blue, green, yellow, beige, white and gold. It would have decorated the front and back of a surcoat belonging to a Ming emperor. A front-facing five-clawed dragon symbolises blessing and strength and is associated with the Son of Heaven, an alternative name for the emperor. The dragon is in pursuit of the flaming pearl of truth, denoting the wearer’s wish to attain inner wisdom. Clouds and mountains, symbols of Imperial sovereignty, further embellish the composition. The Chinese character ‘wan’ meaning eternity, and the homophone meaning longevity, appears at the top of both sides of the badge and suggests that it may have been made to commemorate the emperor’s birthday.

The kesi came from a Surrey home and was purchased by a Chinese collector from Hong Kong bidding on the telephone in the auction at the Berkshire saleroom.[Lot 50].

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