#7490 $750 SoldChinese export figural silk shawl, c.1920
With exquisitely rendered embroidery, Canton shawls remain perennial favorites. This one features bouquets of flowers on two opposing corners. On the other two corners are intricate figural scenes. Depending on how you fold the shawl, you can emphasize one or the other.
The color—light navy with a hint of brightness—is best judged from the top picture rather than from the detail pictures below. The superlative embroidery is of ivory silk floss. The shawl is bordered all around with hand-knotted silk fringe of matching navy.
The medium weight of the shawl allows it to drape gracefully as in the 1920s fashion illustration below.
Chinese export shawls were favorite evening accessories of the 1920s flapper. This beauty would be stunning over a slender evening slip dress; or drape the shawl over your couch where you and your friends can enjoy the embroidery art—the essence of connoisseurship.
You might even take a leaf from Anna Pavlova's book. The greatest ballerina of all time, she was also a fashion idol in Paris before WWI. A ballerina who danced with Pavlova in the Ballets Russes reminisced that Pavlova used to drape a large shawl "in the Spanish manner...They took the place of dresses for her. It became very popular, and many imitated her."
The condition is almost excellent. There are a few small discolored spots. They are not obvious and do not spoil its appearance. This is reflected in the price.
The embroidered center of the shawl is 65" square. The total size, including the fringe border, is 96" square.