VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Theatre costume
MNK VI-7518
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The displayed costume for a man's role refers to a type of kao, a military attire or armour used in Beijing opera.This type of dress was worn by actors playing the roles of generals and officers. Richly decorated with colorful embroidery and a golden thread, the costume was made of yellow silk satin. The upper part covering the torso and armsis adrnedwith a motif of connected coins. The padded abdomen part features embroidery depicting a pair of dragons with a flaming pearl facing each other. In the lower part of the garment one can see a taperin apron, endingwith emblem portraying an animal with the head of a lion and the body of a fish. The medallions, placed on the chest, back, shouldres and the bottom of the robe, depict the silhouettes of lions. The sleeves and a part of the outfit alongboth its sides were decorated with a motif a colorful flowers. The entire costume glitters with lights reflected in the round metal mirrors, which form decorative borders.

History of the Object
In 1909, Otto Kowarski donated his brother Ferdinand's collection to the National Museum in Crakow. Ferdinand had held the post of architect at the Austrian-Hungarian Embassy in Beijing. The other part was obtained from his wife, Celina Kowarska, in 1927. An assortment of fabrics and garments, 66 exhibits in total, is a significant grouping among the 295 arts and crafts objects donated.

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Type
Textile 
Materials
Silk satin, golden thread, metal mirrors, glass, embroidery  
Measurements
Width 169 cm Length 141 cm  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 20th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
Qing Dynasty 19th-20th century 
Function
costume  
Acquisition
Donated by Otton and Celina Kowarski in 1927 
Copyright
The National Museum in Kracow 
Acknowledgements
Beata Pacana, Curator, Far Eastern Art Department, The National Museum in Krakow  
Owner
The National Museum in Krakow 
Museum
The National Museum in Krakow 
Credit line
 

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