Yellow gown-Edit-1In Te Papa’s collection is a stunning yellow silk imperial surcoat or riding jacket possibly worn by the Emperor. This silk robe is one of three presented by Dr Sun Yat-sen to the Tussaud family when he visited Madame Tussaud’s Exhibition of wax-work figures in London in 1911, on his way back to China to take up his presidential duties.

Sun Yat-sen was the first provisional President of the Republic of China. He was in office from December 1911 to March 1912.  His figure was on display at Madame Tussaud’s from 1911 to 1930.

Apparently the gowns were presented out of gratitude for a series of wax-works of members of the last dynasty (Qing).

To hear more on this gown and other wonderful imperial Chinese textiles come to David Rosier’s talk at Te Papa on Sunday 12 July.

Whilst living in Hong Kong for 13 years,  David and his wife Wendy assembled a collection of approximately 700 predominantly Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), imperial-related textiles, insignia of rank and dress accessories.

Feature image: Detail from: Court gown (jifu), late Qing dynasty, late 1800s/early 1900s, China, maker unknown. Purchased 1926. Te Papa (FE0011939)

Caption for the yellow gown – Court robe, circa 1911, China, maker unknown. Gift of John and Carol Campbell, 2012. Te Papa (GH021747)