Cushion cover


Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, Qianlong reign, 18th century
Silk with embroidery in silk and metallic-wrapped threads
H x W: 111 x 146.5 cm (43 11/16 x 57 11/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Costume and Textile, Furniture and Furnishing

Cushion cover

China, couching, dragon, embroidery, Qianlong reign (1736 - 1796), Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), satin stitch

To 1915
Yamanaka & Company, New York to 1915 [1]

From 1915 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Yamanaka & Company, New York in 1915 [2]

From 1920
The Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] Undated folder sheet note. See Reserved Textile List, R. 147, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Yamanaka and Co. (C.L. Freer source)


Thronelike chairs were appointed with elaborate cushions to make them more comfortable and to signal the sitter's status. The design here, consisting of nine five-clawed dragons, was one that only the emperor and his closest associates could use. Other motifs on the cushion symbolize good fortune and longevity. The Chinese name for the narcissus plant, for example, contains the word "immortal," and peaches are also emblems of immortality. Bats, a symbol of good fortune, fly among the brightly colored clouds.

Published References
  • Edwards Park. Treasures from the Smithsonian Institution., 1st ed. Washington and New York. p. 341.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum