Six five-clawed dragons, symbols of authority, search for flaming pearls among constellations and bats: three in front, one behind and one on each shoulder. The background is strewn with peonies and Buddhist emblems: fish, endless knot, wheel of the law, lotus, canopy, conch shell, royal parasol. The lower part of the garment is decorated with the colours of the rainbow from which the liushui waves and rocks spring. Above the tumultuous waves, precious objects such as rhinoceros horns, jewels, sapecs, paintings and books appear. Some of the twelve signs of imperial authority appear on the garment such as the sacrificial axe, the water plant, the constellations, the mountains etc... Silk lining. Dimensions : 180 X 220 cm.
Good condition except for some stains, a fragility at the neckline. Two small holes in the lining.
Provenance : Collected during the China Expedition (1900-1901) by a French soldier, remained in the family since that date. A document from the Ministry of War mentioning the National Commemorative Medal and two photos have been kept by the family.
Note: During the Qing Dynasty and according to the protocol, the officials surrounding the emperor had to wear outfits referring to the nomadic style of the Manchu horsemen who founded this dynasty. The jifu is the dress intended for the semi-officials on the occasion of ceremonies such as festivals, banquets etc... We do not have the collar of our jifu. It could be that the dragons missing to reach the canonical number of nine dragons were embroidered on this part of the garment."