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Coat - Artifacts

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One pale blue silk winter coat, padded, with sheepskin collar, and lined with darker blue silk. The robe opens along the right side and is fastened by four brass moulded buttons, one at the chest, the others along the side. The side slits are 14.5" long. The sheepskin collar is 2.75" high, enclosing the small neck opening. The self-patterned silk robe has an all-over decoration of Chinese characters, endless knots, bats, and ribbons. The sleeves taper from a width of 16.5" (at underarm) to 8.25" (at wrist). Hand made. This was a man's winter coat, evidenced by its dimensions and by the fact that self-patterned silk, unadorned by embroidery, was used for men's garments. Apart from dragon robes, it was unusual for Chinese men to wear embroidered clothes at all. China remains a country where in winter similarly cut clothes are piled layer over layer. Silk and cotton remained the paramount fabrics in all seasons. The fact that this coat was worn over many inner layers explains its large size. Yellowish stains on front center, edge of left sleeve, across right sleeve, and in patched on the back. It is believed to be from Manchuria, purchased by Tom Sawyer (pre-WWII) and given to Louis Mayhew. (Label gift "In Memory of Louis Mayhew".)
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