Qi Robe with Figures and Birds in Ear-shaped Cloud Roundels

China National Silk Museum

China National Silk Museum

This robe, featuring a folded collar, a placket stretching from collar to the right side of waist and narrow cuffs, was made of a kind of monochromatic silk twill named qi in China. Interlinked medallions in the shape of oval clouds serve as the decorative framework. Each horizontal line of roundels in the network are filled with motifs of different themes, those in one line featuring confronted zhuque, a kind of immortal birds in Chinese myths, with the joints adorned with floral motifs, while medallions in the other line feature tree pattern and each conjunction area embellished with a crouching figure whose arms are raised up with palms facing the sky. Such an ornamental framework is quite common among Turpan-excavated fabric relics which date back to the period from Northern Dynasties (386-581 AD) to the Sui dynasty (581-618 AD).

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  • Title: Qi Robe with Figures and Birds in Ear-shaped Cloud Roundels
  • Location: China
  • Location Created: China
  • Type: Textiles
  • Materials and techniques: Silk, Brocade
  • Dynasty: Sui dynasty
  • Dimensions: 105cm x 176cm