robe

Woman's red robe decorated with embroidery in shades of blue, and white. The neckline, side slits and bottom edge are decorated with applied bands of embroidered cream silk, woven bands and blue-black silk edging. The textile is lined with a brocaded pale blue silk. The embroidery on the red ground consists predominantly of floral motifs and butterflies in satin stitch, small areas of Pekin knot, and couched details. The sections in Pekin knot also contain some of the Eight Lucky Emblems of Fish, Conch, Fan, Lidded Jar, Lotus, Endless Knot and Canopy. The collar is decorated with an applied brown silk embroidered with floral motifs in shades of blue, edged with a fine woven cream ribbon. In the shaped sections above the side slits the inner edge is outlined with a fine gold-coloured ribbon, and narrow edging in blue-black silk. On the inside of the embroidered edging is applied white banding decorated with woven patterns in blue and light green. The wider band on it contains alternating endless knots and floral motifs. The narrower band contains what appear to be butterflies, alternating with floral motifs with ribbons. The overlapping front panels are fastened with five metal buttons and textile loops. The lining is decorated with rows of lotus, peonies, chrysanthemums, and plum blossoms.

Collected by William Charles Campbell in China. Campbell was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1861. He joined the consular service as a student interpreter in 1884, having achieved first place in the United Kingdom in a competitive examination which took him to study interpreting Chinese at Birkbeck College London. His travel account of an early journey to Korea is 'an extraordinary account of Korean life'. A trip to Mongolia became a rescue mission for American missionaries in Kalgan when the Boxer Rebellion caught up with them, and in the turbulent events of 1900 he joined Admiral E.H. Seymour in an attempt to relieve the Legations in Peking. His account and books of maps of subsequent journeys on foot through Mongolia and Tibet are mentioned as a 'record of little known countries written by an observant traveller and naturalist' (Blue Book No. 1. British Parliamentary Publication Sept. 1904). Mr. Campbell, married in 1903 to Violet Coutts of Shanghai, served as a consul in Chengdu and then Peking before retiring to England because of ill health in 1911. He died in London at the age of 65.

Collection Information

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