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Chinese Robes

Chinese clothing was particularly distinct from Western clothing in ancient times, a distinction that was preserved until 1912, the advent of the People’s Republic of China. Traditional Chinese robes are characterized by a cross-collar, which crosses the right lapel over the left, and either a long gown or a form of skirt worn with the blouse. The robes were tied with a sash. The basic features of this type of clothing were established in the 17th century B.C.

Color and designs on Chinese robes spoke to the rank of the wearer. Yellow was reserved for only the emperor; images of dragons also pointed towards an emperor. High rank officials wore purple. Robes also varied by society; traditional Han clothing is characterized by a lack of buttons, the use of a sash, and the cross-collar lapels. These robes had long wide sleeves.

Another well-known type of robe is the “Qi Pao," the traditional Manchu female style of clothing fused with Western patterns that give the female body an idealized hourglass shape. While the collar generally remained the same, the variations of this clothing varied from region to region.


Quick Facts

  • The more designs there were embroidered onto the clothing, as well as the quality of the fabric that was used, the wealthier and higher ranked the wearer
  • Most traditional Chinese wedding robes, which vary depending on region and time period, were made of red silk for good luck and happiness
  • The embroidered designs on an official’s uniform had very significant meanings in the past. A first rank civil officer’s uniform would have an image of a crane, second rank a gold pheasant, and subsequent ranks would have a peacock, goose, silver pheasant, egret, duck, oriole, and quail

Recommended Items at Auction

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A CHINESE EMBROIDERED DRAGON ROBE
Dec 04, 9:30 AM EST
A CHINESE EMBROIDERED DRAGON ROBE
by Berkeley Auction Gallery
Est: $30,000- $40,000
$7,5003 Bids
Chinese Robe
Dec 09, 6:00 PM EST
Chinese Robe
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$102 Bids
A Rare Chinese Silk 'Dragon' Robe, Qing Dynasty.
Dec 08, 12:15 PM GMT
A Rare Chinese Silk 'Dragon' Robe, Qing Dynasty.
by Arman Antiques LLC
Est: $8,000- $10,000
$1,2002 Bids
IMPRESSIVE CHINESE SILK EMBROIDERED ROBE
Dec 14, 9:00 AM CST
IMPRESSIVE CHINESE SILK EMBROIDERED ROBE
by Jackson's International
Est: $250- $500
$2502 Bids
SHANGHAI TANG Luxury Cashmere & Silk Asian Jacket
Dec 07, 10:00 AM EST
SHANGHAI TANG Luxury Cashmere & Silk Asian Jacket
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $50- $250
$11 Bid
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CHINESE SILK EMBROIDERED ROBE 19th Century Length 38".
Dec 07, 9:30 AM EST
CHINESE SILK EMBROIDERED ROBE 19th Century Length 38".
by Eldred's
Est: $250- $350
$1251 Bid
Chinese Silk Embroidered Robe
Dec 08, 11:00 AM EST
Chinese Silk Embroidered Robe
by Stair
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid
ROBE
Dec 05, 2:00 PM CET
ROBE
by Tajan
Est: €1,000- €1,500
€9001 Bid
ROBE
Dec 05, 2:00 PM CET
ROBE
by Tajan
Est: €500- €700
€4401 Bid
A Chinese Kesi dragon robe, late Qing Dynasty,
Dec 07, 10:00 AM GMT
A Chinese Kesi dragon robe, late Qing Dynasty,
by Cheffins
Est: £400- £600
£3201 Bid
Chinese Embroidered Ao Short Robe
Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
Chinese Embroidered Ao Short Robe
by Roland Auctions NY
Est: $500- $800
$2501 Bid
Antique Chinese Silk Cape/Robe
Nov 30, 1:00 PM EST
Antique Chinese Silk Cape/Robe
by Anzardo's Fine Arts
Est: $500- $700
$2500 Bids
An informal robe
Nov 30, 11:00 AM WET
An informal robe
by Veritas Art Auctioneers
Est: €1,200- €1,800
€1,2000 Bids
A fragment of a silk kesi dragon robe. 18/19th century
Dec 09, 11:00 AM CET
A fragment of a silk kesi dragon robe. 18/19th century
by Kunsthaus Lempertz KG
Est: €3,000- €5,000
€2,2000 Bids
A CHINESE RED GROUND SILK EMBROIDERED ROBE, LATE QING DYNASTY
Dec 02, 10:30 AM GMT
A CHINESE RED GROUND SILK EMBROIDERED ROBE, LATE QING DYNASTY
by Ma San Auction
Est: £400- £600
£3000 Bids
Chinese Embroidered Silk Robe
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
Chinese Embroidered Silk Robe
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $600- $800
$1000 Bids
A Chinese Gauze Court Dragon Robe
Dec 10, 6:00 PM CST
A Chinese Gauze Court Dragon Robe
by Kelmscott's
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,0000 Bids
A silk satin fragment of a nine dragon robe. 18th/19th century
Dec 09, 11:00 AM CET
A silk satin fragment of a nine dragon robe. 18th/19th century
by Kunsthaus Lempertz KG
Est: €2,000- €4,000
€1,5000 Bids
A BLUE-GROUND SILK THEATER ROBE WITH DRAGON
Dec 07, 9:30 AM CET
A BLUE-GROUND SILK THEATER ROBE WITH DRAGON
by Nagel Auction
Est: €300- €400
€3000 Bids
Embroidered Dragon Robe
Dec 09, 1:00 PM PST
Embroidered Dragon Robe
by China Arts Auction
Est: $28,000- $32,000
$3,0000 Bids
A CHINESE PURPLE GROUND SILK ROBE, EARLY 20TH CENTURY
Dec 02, 10:30 AM GMT
A CHINESE PURPLE GROUND SILK ROBE, EARLY 20TH CENTURY
by Ma San Auction
Est: £250- £300
£2400 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Chinese Robes


Eldred's

Eldred's

Sotheby's

Sotheby's

Kunsthaus Lempertz KG

Kunsthaus Lempertz KG

Nagel Auction

Nagel Auction