Bed hangings (set of 9), wedding, embroidered silk/metallic thread/cotton/glass, Shanghai region, China, 1900-1949.
A set of 9 shaped, padded and embroidered motifs made to adorn a Chinese wedding bed.
-1/1:2. Floral motif: this is the central motif of the set and is comprised of the base (1/1) a 3-dimensional shaped cardboard flowerpot form with wool padded cream silk satin front covering. The front pocket features a small central embroidered insertion covered by a glass 'window', the pot is crossed at the rear with a flat, polychrome silk, ruyi sceptre. The whole is embroidered in polychrome silk thread with auspicious symbols and edged with rows of couched gold metallic thread. There are 3 rigid, silk covered loops at the end of the sceptre. The whole is backed with [paste] stiffened floral printed cotton. A thin red braid loop with wax seal forms the attachment. The lower edge is trimmed with 5 different coloured silk tassels, the upper tassel is cylinder bound and wrapped with decorative gold wire and threaded with mottled glass beads (once silvered). The upper motif (1/2) inserts into the pocket of the base and is in the form of a 'tremblent' foliate spray constructed of a wire and cardboard base covered in polychrome silk filament interwoven with gold paper strips.
-2:3. Crab/lotus/flower motifs: (pair) These padded, multi petalled 'crown' motifs are of similar construction to -1/1, covered in embroidered polychrome silk and edged with couched metallic thread. The centre element of each motif is different.
-2: The centre 'petals' represent a crab with wire legs covered in multi-coloured silk filament.
-3: The centre represents a flower with 4 curved, rigid, petals.
Each is backed and trimmed as -1/1 with 5 different coloured tassels, threaded with glass beads worked above with decorative eternal knots and braid hanging loop.
-4:5: Double coin/bat/double peach motifs (pair) Similar construction to the above, this pair of decorative hangings a constructed with 3 different auspicious motifs covered in polychrome silk and edged with couched metallic thread. Each is backed and trimmed as -1/1 with 3 different coloured tassels, threaded with silvered glass beads worked above with decorative eternal knots and braid hanging loop. Small rows of spun glass beads once joined the elements, only on row remains on each motif.
-6:7: Mirrored motifs (pair) Similar construction to the above, this pair of decorative hangings is constructed with 2 different motifs, the upper ruyi sceptre is covered in turquoise silk and the lower, slightly padded red silk covered motif features a small, central, inserted circular mirror, both edged with couched metallic thread. Each is backed and trimmed as 1/1 with three different coloured tassels, threaded with silvered glass beads worked above with decorative eternal knots and brown and ivory braid hanging loop.
-8:9: Rabbit shaped motifs (pair) Similar construction to the above, covered in ivory silk embroidered in polychrome silks and edged with rows of couched metallic thread. Each has a single long red silk tassel with silvered glass beads and decorative eternal knots, brown and ivory braid hanging loop.