A woven square taken from the front of a Chinese Emperor's robe with a front facing dragon in couched gold and a constellation symbol.
Yellow (or apricot yellow) robes could only be worn by the Emperor or Empress. The color has faded and changed to this current tan color. Each Emperor's robe had twelve symbols of Imperial Authority embroidered on it in specific places. We can see "The Constellation" which represents the handles of Ursa Major, the Big Dipper, just above the dragon's head. (Three linked blue dots). The dragons in metallic threads are 'couched' (laid and held with threads) over the silk fabric. This fabric was hand woven loosely but meticulous and looks more like a delicate fishing net (or mosquito net). The color threads were stitched into the net. This must have been a summer robe. Dating this to a particular Emperor is slightly difficult but the strong pink/purple color may indicate that this was made in the later half of the 1800s. Dimensions: 8" wide x 8 3/16" in length