Embroidery Chinese White Horse Carry Sutra Silk Beijing Palace Museum – 1750-1850 Embroidery Painting In Silk In The School Of Madam Han Ximeng that lived during Ming Dynasty; There is an Original Painting by Ding Yunpeng In The Historical Collection in the Forbidden City; Scroll Is Called,” The White Horse Carrying Sutras.”
This is a work in progress, I will be adding more pictures that shows the matting and the back of this breathtaking silk embroidery.In the 1930’s there was a Marine that was an embassy guard with the 38th company (I believe Fourth Marine) He had a friend named Rudy Teerela that he served with prior to writing him this letter. In this letter he mentions time they spent together and that when he sees him again he had a very nice present for him. The letter was inside the back of the embroidery. The letter is dated Peiping, China, March 19, 1930 Marine Detachment, 38th Company American Legation Guard Peiping. He writes in the letter he was also stationed in Shanghai for nine months. I hope to latter post a picture of the two page letter.I believe this is Chinese embroidery painting in the style of Madam Han Ximeng, that lived during the 17th century, Ming dynasty. Apparently Corporal William (Bill) Hamilton obtained this during his tour of duty in China.
There are different thickness of thread and different patterns. Even the ground has been contoured using these different methods. On the ground in some places there is very fine green silk that if you did not know better you would think you are looking at a watercolor produced image. But as you inspect it closely with a loupe you see that it is a very fine stitch.
The skill that produced this treasure is breathless to behold.
This might not have a lot in monetary value, but it is rich in historical value. It is mounted of a sheet of paper and has a border of paper with silk embroidered design that has cracked and torn in places over time. It once was mounted on a wood scroll which I still have and still has remnant of silk material still attached. I will eventually add a picture of it.
The trees are stupendously stitched giving them a sense of depth attributed to the different shades of silk so skillfully used. Only close examination will reveal that even when the same color is used there are of different shades only are trained eye could use to convey the originality of the painting produced by Ding Yunpeng. The original painting that resides in the Palace Museum has damage that was received after the embroidery was done.
Apparently Han Ximeng had access to the original for the rendering is exact, down to the expressions on the faces. The embroidery is 99% of what the painting depicts except for about an inch and one half (3.5cm) at the bottom of the painting. A few of the boulders and rocks at the bottom of the painting for this reason is not visible in the silk rendering. She moved the inscription and seals up to make up for the loss which is quite apparent when comparing the two side by side.
The colors have remained vibrant with deep reds,many shades of browns & tans, light to dark greens and different intensity of black silk thread. I say silk thread but I am not 100% sure for it could be satin and until a real expert examines we will leave at silk.
Where I found this beauty.
In 1996 I used to go to a little town called Panacea in the Big Bend area of the panhandle of Florida. In those days there were little junk shops scattered about, all on Highway 98 that ran through the middle of this town whose main employer were the oyster processing houses. There was one really large thrift/odd & end/bric-a-brac/junk store. It measured approximately 50 feet wide by 70′ deep. There was no air conditioning and no windows except a large picture glass window in the front that was to your left and a small row high along the ceiling in the back. The entrance doors were soot covered triple rows of multi pane glass that where left wide open as if to say “Come on in y’all.” There was just enough space to park you car diagonally as you turned off from Hwy 98 into the rock and dirt parking strip. There was just enough space for six to eight cars. The highway was so close to the entrance that everything had a dusty film once it laid around for a couple of years. The place was cluttered, disorganized and no sense order; the antique treasure hunters favorite decor. The man that ran the place did it for his father that owned the store and property. There was a lot of junk, but there was also some treasures.
One Wednesday, which was my favorite day to go there I walked in to a section in the front that he kept the good stuff and what he considered antique. He had this and two other scrolls that had been framed very nicely and sealed in the back. The framing had cost him as he told me, $80 a piece. His objective was to get the framing cost plus $50 for each of the framed scrolls. His father told him that whomever bought them had to buy all as a group.
Well I was not going to pass up on these beauties, but then there was a dilemma, he did not take credit cards, all purchases had to be paid in cash. I went to the local grocery/IGA store, which did not have an ATM so I headed to the one bank that had an ATM, but there was no money in the ATM. I had to drive ten miles to a larger town that was the county seat called Crawfordville to retrieve some money. That is the story how I obtained this scroll and have enjoyed it ever since.