907 - 1125
Embroidery, silk and gold thread on silk gauze ground; silk lining, silk batting
Overall: 130 x 177 cm (51 3/16 x 69 11/16 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1995.20
Embroidery; silk and gold thread on silk gauze ground; silk lining, silk batting
Liao Dynasty (907-1125)
The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1995.20
(Cat. no. 51)
The robe is embroidered on the back with clouds and paired phoenixes
(associated with female members of the imperial family). Single phoenixes
and clouds occur at the shoulders. On the front, fragments of another large
pair of phoenixes remain. The birds and clouds are set against a scrolling
vine pattern embroidered with gold thread, of which only the gold leaf
The design was drawn and then embroidered with silk and gold threads on
lengths of fabric (gauze backed with silk) before they were cut and seamed.
The robe was then lined, with silk batting between the layers for warmth.
Toward the end of the Liao dynasty, rules for wearing Khitan-style dress
(overlapping toward the left) became increasingly relaxed. This may explain
the robe's front overlap toward the right, which accords with Chinese
A description of the reconstruction of this robe can be found in the
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