Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Hold Everything (Qing Style)

[Bright Yellow Silk Bracelet Bag, The Guangxu Period of the Qing Dynasty (1875-1908) ©The Palace Museum.]

[Silk Ribbon Reel Packing with the Red Character of Longevity on Each Side
The Xuantong Period of the Qing Dynasty (1909-1911) ©The Palace Museum.]

[Multi-Division Brocade Makeup Box, The Late Qing Dynasty ©The Palace Museum.]

[Red Five-Tray Lacquer Container of Writing Brushes Used by Emperor Qianlong to Write Flower Poetry
The Qianlong Period of the Qing Dynasty (1736-1795) ©The Palace Museum.]

The Chinese have never been known for slacking off when it comes to presentation. Historically, packaging was a really big deal in China, in both the Imperial workshops and the realm of folk arts. So much so, in fact, that The Palace Museum has put together a virtual exhibition, Imperial Packing Art of the Qing Dynasty.  Included are a wide range of refined boxes, pouches and bottles.

[Four Connected Silver Bottles of Medicine
The Guangxu Period of the Qing Dynasty (1875-1908) ©The Palace Museum.]

[Portable Openwork Rosewood Food Container with Interlaced Hornless Dragon Pattern
The Qianlong Period of the Qing Dynasty (1736-1795) ©The Palace Museum.]

And that related post I put together a few weeks ago should have been titled Transatlantic Chinamania. In December, a lavish new exhibition, Imperial Chinese Robes from the Forbidden City, is opening at the V & A.

[Winter Court Robe of 1st Rank Concubine, Chinese (Ch'ien Lung) 1735 - 96, watercolour. Museum no. 860 - 1896.]

[The exhibition catalogue.]

Myself, I've spent every Christmas to date in either Virginia or Georgia, but I have some friends who enjoy traveling to London for the holidays. How magical would it be to see this show and maybe pop by Anthropologie's Regent Street displays in December?

[Image courtesy Anthropologie.]

[Screengrab from Bernardo Bertolucci's film, The Last Emperor.]

Related past post: Anticipating Treasures. Thoughts on visiting museums here.


P.Gaye Tapp at Little Augury said...

they do know how to wrap a package. that yellow bag set me right off-what better palette & the ribbon- All together please. cannot wait to visit the Palace. pgt

Karena said...

All so detailed, very special. Love the laquer box with brushes and the exhibit of imperial robes.... how exciting.

Art by Karena

Unknown said...

I adore the art of packaging and folding and presenting. All the importance of the pieces inside have an equivalence on the outside.
The food container is amazing, such details!
The Chinese are true masters.

Alcira Molina-Ali said...

What a gorgeous post. God I wish I could hit the V&A.
It seems we're all suffering from a heady case of Chinamania. I've been on a bit of rampage myself over at Nero. Beauty and brains, this blog has the whole package.