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Image of Semi-official Robe (with dragon design)

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Semi-official Robe (with dragon design)

Creation date: mid 18th century-early 19th century
Creation place: China

Other Information

Type: Silk Robe
Medium and Support: Silk
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Jeanne D. Lissauer
Accession Number: 1954.52
Dimensions: 56 in. x 82 in. (142.24 cm x 208.28 cm)


Jeanne D. Lissauer, San Diego, California ( - December 8, 1954)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (December 8, 1954 - )

Label Copy

August 2008
Asian Court Rotation
Ji-fu is a semi-formal robe for court functions worn by both men and women in a wide spectrum of Qing society. It was not worn for ritual or formal, ceremonial occasions. The four-clawed dragon, or mang, indicates that the owner of this robe was a lower ranking prince or official. The five-clawed dragon, long, was typically reserved for the emperor, the imperial family, and, with the emperor’s permission, select high-ranking officials. The peony—king of flowers—is a motif seen throughout the lavish ornamentation on this robe. It is paired with the eight auspicious symbols of Buddhism as understood in Qing-dynasty China: endless knot (infinite wisdom and compassion of Buddha) wheel of law (Buddhist doctrine) conch (far-reaching sound of Buddha’s teachings) lotus (purity) standard of victory (victory of the Buddha’s teachings) vase (the elixir of life) twin fish (freedom from constraints) princely canopy (protection under spiritual power) Two of the eight symbols, the twin fish and the princely canopy are combined and featured below the largest, central dragon. Blossoming peonies and the Eight Treasures (wish-granting pearl, double lozenges, stone chime, rhinoceros horns, double coins, ingot, coral, and wish-granting scepter) emerge from the turbulent wave design known as “hurricane wave border,” which is characteristic of mid-18th century imperial textiles.
Last Updated: 3/15/2012


This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Dragon's Dancing: Chinese Ch'ing Dynesty Imperial Robes , 1/17/1992 - 3/22/1992

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