Nov 12, 2009
Nov 12, 2009

Gold-patterned Silk with Falcons and Heraldry

Gold-patterned Silk with Falcons and Heraldry


Silk, gold thread; a combination of two weaves (lampas)

Overall: 40.3 x 24.8 cm (15 7/8 x 9 3/4 in.); Mounted: 45.1 x 28.6 cm (17 3/4 x 11 1/4 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1943.283



Instead of international designs, this splendid gold-thread patterned silk displays a mixture of heraldic and falconry emblems. Pairs of falcons stand on a main d’aigle, a heraldic charge consisting of a bird’s wing and claw. They alternate with a panache, or plumes, from an ostrich with an ornamental interlacement at its base. Traditionally panaches were helmet or hat ornaments, but here is a heraldic crest. Although European motifs form the pattern, the dramatic energy of asymmetrical Chinese design persists.

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