Asian Antiques

Unless otherwise stated, I own or have previously owned all items listed in this collection.

Antique Chinese Textiles

Antique Japanese Textiles

This collection ranges from imperial robes, religious vestments, and interior furnishings to the woven and embroidered sleeve bands used to finish or replace damaged sleeves. They not only reflect the power and wealth they symbolized as status garments, but are also exquisite and complex material documentation of the technological creativity behind various weaving techniques and embroidery styles. As such, they are evidence of the skills of the thousands of anonymous women and men who worked the looms and embroidery frames in imperial and private manufactures and in their own homes. We may not know their names, but we cherish their work to this day.

Chinese emperors valued the power of silk as status vestments, diplomatic gifts, and currency of emolument and indemnity. And since antiquity, China’s philosophers used the process of silk weaving as a metaphor for a successful rule: A well-ordered state relied on unimpeded work flow in the production processes of agriculture and sericulture (silk cultivation). These pillars of societal order were inextricably connected to the seasons. Therefore, every dynasty’s administration saw its role as steward, keeping order in the ‘central kingdom’ in relationships among people, with nature, and ultimately with cosmic forces to bring about the harmony necessary to maintain a prosperous and flourishing society. Order in agriculture sustained the people and the government, just like the order of warp and weft threads on a loom are indispensable for the creation of any fabric. This explains why emperors made agriculture and sericulture into a political program for educating the people, which is documented in illustrated albums that found their way into the art of China, Korea, and Japan.