89/494 Imperial dragon robe, semi-formal, (jifu), orange silk gauze / silk / metallic thread, China, c. 1800. Click to enlarge.

Orange silk gauze dragon robe, embroidered, China

Made in China, Asia, c 1800.

This is an imperial semi-formal dragon robe or jifu probably worn by an heir apparent during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911). To the Chinese, the dragon represents the dynamic force in the universe and symbolises the emperor or ‘Son of Heaven’.

In 1759, the Qianlong emperor of the Chinese Qing dynasty issued an edict governing court attire. The colour, decoration and style of dress was determined by the wearer’s title, rank and status. According to these rites, ‘apricot-yellow’ was the colour res...


Object No.


Object Statement

Imperial dragon robe, semi-formal, (jifu), orange silk gauze / silk / metallic thread, China, c. 1800

Physical Description

Imperial dragon robe, a semi-formal court robe or 'jifu' of orange silk gauze with side fastening of cast metal ball buttons and silk cord loops, long tapered sleeves with horse hoof shaped cuffs, skirt split at centre front and back to knee. Orange silk gauze embroidered with nine five-clawed dragons worked in couched gold and silver metallic threads, each dragon playing with a flaming disc motif, deep 'lishui' border bands at hem and elbows with mountains, waves, clouds, bats and precious objects, the body of the robe worked in counted thread embroidery with clouds, bats and 'ligzhi' motifs using blues, white, reds and lime green silk thread. Blue silk gauze cuffs, neck and opening bands embroidered with smaller metallic thread dragons and motifs similar to those worked on the body of the robe.



1380 mm


2120 mm



c 1800




Credit Line

Purchased with funds donated by Ken and Yasuko Myer, 1989

Acquisition Date

29 May 1989

Cite this Object


Orange silk gauze dragon robe, embroidered, China 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 18 December 2018, <https://ma.as/96257>


{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/96257 |title=Orange silk gauze dragon robe, embroidered, China |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=18 December 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Reflections of Asia: Collectors and Collections at the Powerhouse Museum.


This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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