Front and, very unusually, two top side panels from a large imperial yellow throne back cushion cover, heavily embroidered with a bold five-toed horned dragon amongst clouds, bats and buddhistic symbols, surrounded by a further eight dragons. 18th century. 74 x 75 cms.
Provenance: Christie's 1997.
Condition: Faults. In need of restoration, but a very scarce item.
The large back cushions of Qing dynasty thrones are normally of this very distinctive shape. An example with a single dragon surrounded by bats, was sold in Christie's South Kensington (18th May 2012, lot 1348), £ 49,250 (US $77,500). Another example, with nine dragons and bats, dated to Qianlong/Jiaqing was sold in Christie's New York (May 22-23 2012,lot 1625), for $43,750. This example was somewhat faded, with the blue silks surviving better than the other colours. No similar piece appears to have passed through Sotheby's since 2000.