Yorke Antique Textiles

A collection of antique and vintage textiles from around the world

Item Details
19th century (1825-1900)
A fine silk kesi panel depicting a rare subject: an old Chinese Buddhist myth based on Chang'e, the goddess of the moon. The condition is very good, with slight fading on the face (a more saturated blue background on the textile perimeters, where a mat once sat when the artwork was framed behind glass), and a vertical patina line across the moon . 16" x 36". According to Chinese mythology, Chang'e is the goddess of the moon, where she lives with her companion, the Jade Rabbit. The Jade Rabbit serves under the moon goddess and pounds from crushed jade or herbs the elixir of life for the immortals. The imagery of this textile may refer to one involving a plague that was wrecking havoc on the city of Beijing. Almost every family was affected and nothing seemed effective in curing the disease. Seeing that people in the human world were desperately praying for treatment, Goddess Chang'e was saddened. She sent Jade Rabbit to the mortal world on a mission to drive the plague away. An alternative interpretation is that the imagery represents Chang'e sending longevity and good fortune to earth, as the Jade Rabbit does embody those attributes. The Chinese adhere to the tradition that on on a mid-Autumn day, the full-moon night of the 8th lunar month, to set up altars in the open air facing the moon in order to worship Chang'e.
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