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Victorian Canton cape

#7491 $550

Embroidered Canton shawl/cape, c.1900

Chinese hand embroidery is esteemed for its exceptional quality. In the Victorian era, there was a huge market in the West for fine Chinese export goods. The supernal beauty of this embroidery will not fade with time. Today these lovely capes make cherished wedding accessories.

Made from ivory silk crepe, the cape is covered with exquisite Chinese floral motifs rendered in matching silk floss. The embroidery makes our shawl a showpiece for the intricate stitches used in the charming, lifelike motifs.

The cape fastens at the front neckline with tasseled ties. Additional tassels hang from braided medallions at the center-back. The collar and hem are bordered with hand-knotted silk fringe. The cape is slightly longer in front, depending on how it is draped.

The entrancing verisimilitude of the embroidery—executed with peerless refinement in the delineation of the finest details—brings to mind a saying of Lysippus (350 BCE), the finest Classical sculptor, who said that “an artist should imitate, not the work of other artists, but nature itself.”

The condition is almost excellent. There are just a few tiny age spots that barely show.

The cape is 28" long at the center-back, including the fringe.

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