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Manchu woman's semiformal domestic robe (changyi); late nineteenth century. Embroidered ice blue satin, length 54 inches.
The embroidered blooming flowers are full of symbolism: pomegranates (many sons), medallion of butterfly and melons (ceaseless generations of sons and gransons), chrysanthemum (longevity), lotus (purity and a noble character), orchid (representing gentlemen as well as pure friendship), plum blosooms (representing five blessings: honor, many sons, wealth, longevity, and peaceful death).
Naidongtang collection, San Francisco, CA.