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c. 1900 Blue / White Batik Shouldercloth with Chinese Qilin

Origin: Java, Cirebon

Technique: Commercial cotton, natural dyes, hand-drawn (tulis) batik 

Description:  A lovely blue and white batik shouldercloth hand-drawn with a vibrant  ...
c. 1900 Blue / White Batik Shouldercloth with Chinese Qilin

Origin: Java, Cirebon

Technique: Commercial cotton, natural dyes, hand-drawn (tulis) batik 

Description:  A lovely blue and white batik shouldercloth hand-drawn with a vibrant  ...
c. 1900 Blue / White Batik Shouldercloth with Chinese Qilin

Origin: Java, Cirebon

Technique: Commercial cotton, natural dyes, hand-drawn (tulis) batik 

Description:  A lovely blue and white batik shouldercloth hand-drawn with a vibrant  ...
c. 1900 Blue / White Batik Shouldercloth with Chinese Qilin

Origin: Java, Cirebon

Technique: Commercial cotton, natural dyes, hand-drawn (tulis) batik 

Description:  A lovely blue and white batik shouldercloth hand-drawn with a vibrant  ...
c. 1900 Blue / White Batik Shouldercloth with Chinese Qilin

Origin: Java, Cirebon

Technique: Commercial cotton, natural dyes, hand-drawn (tulis) batik 

Description:  A lovely blue and white batik shouldercloth hand-drawn with a vibrant  ...
c. 1900 Blue / White Batik Shouldercloth with Chinese Qilin

Origin: Java, Cirebon

Technique: Commercial cotton, natural dyes, hand-drawn (tulis) batik 

Description:  A lovely blue and white batik shouldercloth hand-drawn with a vibrant  ...
c. 1900 Blue / White Batik Shouldercloth with Chinese Qilin

Origin: Java, Cirebon

Technique: Commercial cotton, natural dyes, hand-drawn (tulis) batik 

Description:  A lovely blue and white batik shouldercloth hand-drawn with a vibrant  ...
c. 1900 Blue / White Batik Shouldercloth with Chinese Qilin

Origin: Java, Cirebon

Technique: Commercial cotton, natural dyes, hand-drawn (tulis) batik 

Description:  A lovely blue and white batik shouldercloth hand-drawn with a vibrant  ...
c. 1900 Blue / White Batik Shouldercloth with Chinese Qilin

Origin: Java, Cirebon

Technique: Commercial cotton, natural dyes, hand-drawn (tulis) batik

Description: a lovely blue and white batik shouldercloth hand-drawn with a vibrant design of flowering trees in the centerfield, and a pair of Chinese qilin in each end panel. The 2 mirroring trees each have a pair of birds of paradise at the center, and their deep blue-black and graphite blue leaves, sprays of flowers, and large blooms evoke a remarkable sense of windswept movement, enhanced by another bird flying in from one side. The delicate curvilinear drawing style, both arresting and delicate, and the clear ivory ground are all special characteristics of Cirebon batik. Within the more or less mirroring design there is great variation in detail, giving it the aliveness for which hand-drawn batik is prized by the Javanese. The end panels contrast the vibrant movement of the centerfield with a solid design of paired male and female blue qilins—a Chinese mythical creature with fish-scales, horse’s hooves, and lion’s manes and tails, as well as horns if male.

Context: The design of this batik is an interesting mixture of elements: some are Chinese in origin, such as the qilins and banji, but the flowering trees with birds show the influence of the bouquets developed by Indo-European batik-makers. However, older Chinese versions always depict a growing plant, not cut flowers, as in this design where they grow from a mound. It also preserves some of the free-flowing multi-directional orientation of older north coast designs, that evoke the scattering of blossoms in rituals. Batik with blue and white designs were a type called kelengan, worn during mourning by Peranakan Chinese, but also traditional in Java and Sumatra. They were (later) also called batik porselen, as they evoked Ming blue-and-white ware for the Chinese, and Delft porcelain for the Dutch. The width of the piece shows that it was made specifically for the large batik market of Chinese clients in Sumatra, where this wider form of shouldercloth was used to cover the head.

Condition: The shouldercloth is in good condition for its age. One end has a delicately sewn repair of a tear, a line of brown stain, and a small hole; there is a small tear at the edge, and one or two smaller holes elsewhere that are barely visible. The colors are unusually rich and deep, the ivory ground is warm and glowing, and the cotton is very fine, light, soft, and smooth, grown a little thin and crisp with age.

Dimensions: Length: 183 cm. Width: 87 cm.











price:  SOLD