This antique Chinese textile has an extremely fine silk base. The embroidery with metallic thread is done with great elegance and complemented with embroidery of silk floral motifs.

This embroidered cloth was translated by a Chinese client in our shop (hope the translation is right!):

“The feeling is like an orchid,

the morality is like a pine tree and a bamboo

who are very straight” [meaning noble].

The Chinese love bamboo, and bamboo culture has been rooted in their minds for a long time. To the Chinese people, bamboo is a symbol of virtue. It reflects people’s souls and emotions. Bamboo is viewed as a symbol of traditional Chinese values. It is an example of the harmony between nature and human beings. Ancient Chinese people designated the plum, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum as the “four gentlemen”, and pine, bamboo and plum as the “three friends in winter”. People think its deep root denotes resoluteness; its tall, straight stem represents honor; its hollow interior modesty and its clean and spartan exterior exemplify chastity.

Ancient Chinese literature held bamboo in profound esteem. This explains why there are so many writings and paintings dedicated to the plant throughout history.

Found across China, the evergreen pine tree stands for integrity, perseverance, and longevity. Traditionally, pine, bamboo, and plum blossoms were regarded as the “Three Companions of Winter” among literati, who admired these plants’ ability to survive the cold and thrive in harsh conditions. Tang dynasty (618 – 907) poet Li Bai once wrote, “Pines and cypresses are proud and upright in nature, and don’t put on a sweet appearance catering to the masses like peach or prune blossoms.”

The orchid is a flower which is famous for its fragrance. It has the characteristics of honourability and elegance. Celebrities of ancient and modern times have highly praised it, and they are known as gentlemen in flowers.

Material: Silk and metal thread

Size: 140×35 cms

Origin: China

Made in: 1800-1900s

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SKU: T13533