Jun 17, 2005

Woman's Bridal Dress: Dragon Jacket, Pleated Skirt, Tabard

Woman's Bridal Dress: Dragon Jacket, Pleated Skirt, Tabard


Part of a set. See all set records

Silk, gilt-metal thread; embroidery

Overall: 104.2 x 153 cm (41 x 60 1/4 in.)

Gift of Elizabeth Wade Sedgwick 2005.135



This three-piece bridal dress includes a dragon jacket, a pleated skirt, and a tabard, a short loose-fitting sleeveless vest. The ensemble reveals the high rank of her husband even though it did not fall under the scope of the Qing Dynasty sumptuary laws.

The woman's bridal trousseau contains a short red coat with side-fastening and wide sleeves. It is decorated with ten dragons and other cosmological motifs commonly found on court dress. The presence of ten dragons indicates that the wife's husband was a high-ranking official.

The dragon jacket was worn over a pleated turquoise skirt, with six embroidered panels which feature dragons in the front and back.

A three-quarter-length sleeveless tabard completes the outfit, with a front closure, open sides secured by cloth bands, and a colorful tasseled fringe around the hem. Dragons, water, and clouds are embroidered on the silk ground. In addition, a rank badge applied on the front and back shows that the bride married a man of high official rank.

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