Splendid silks

Chinese silk on the c. 1720 state bed at Plas Newydd, Anglesey. ©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel

I have just visted the Imperial Chinese Robes exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The robes have been lent by the Palace Museum, Beijing.

The colour combinations and the different textures of the silks are extraordinary. And I found it fascinating to learn more about the motifs used in the designs, and the occasions on which the different styles of clothing would have been used.

The state bed at Plas Newydd with its flying tester. ©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel

The silk shown here, at Plas Newydd, Anglesey, was used in a different context, but it does illustrate the longstanding British fascination with Chinese art and design, of which the current V&A exhibition is only the latest example.

5 Responses to “Splendid silks”

  1. Susan Holloway Scott Says:

    That IS an extraordinary bed! Imagine waking up to those beautiful flowers each morning. Do you know the date for it?

  2. Brad Emerson Says:

    Just extraordinary

  3. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    The bed is from about 1720. This type, with its deep ‘flying’ tester held up with cables from the ceiling, was called a lit à la duchesse, and was introduced to England by Daniel Marot, the court architect to Wiliam III. There is a similar one, also with Chinese silk, at Erddig (http://nttreasurehunt.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/degrees-of-exoticism/).

  4. style court Says:

    Thrilled to hear you’ve seen the show!

  5. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Yes this exhibition is right up your street.

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