A silk gift cloth featuring a wonderful dreamlike image of an Taoist immortal riding on a flying crane. Silk background is of expensive shusu silk. Plentiful fine embroidery and metallic couching. Good condition: many tiny age tears in the silk background. 26" x 28".
Cranes are common symbol of Taoist transcendence, messengers of wisdom, and longevity. Legend has it that Taoist sages were transported between heavenly worlds on the backs of such 'tian-he" ('Heavenly Cranes'). For the Taoists, to become immortal is to be "transformed Into a feathered being. The affinity of the Taoist immortals to birds such as the crane is a persistent theme in iconography and legend.