Mandarin Imperial Vestment



Inventory Number: 364; 4490; 4491; 4496

These mannequins were added to the Ethnological Museum in the 60’s after being a part of the Universal Missionary Exposition, which occurred in the Vatican in 1925, and were then placed directly after in the Lateran Museum. The necklace was sent to the Vatican by the Missions of the clergy of the Portuguese Macao, clothes were donated by the Missions of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary During these various movements of the mannequins, some elements of the dress were torn. It will be important to intervene with a complete restoration project, useful for the safekeeping of such a unique and rich collection of ethnological objects. This mannequin is part of a very rich collection that displays various traditional costumes from the territory “China”. The costume is composed of many elements.  The dress Longpao, is of an imperial status and thus made of blue silk, embroidered with polychrome silk yarn, and laminated golden paper. The decoration, completed with silk threads and oblique lines, the waves of the Cosmi, Mount Kunlun entirely patterned on the bottom of auspicious clouds, Buddhist symbols, bats, dragons, five clawed figures associated with the flaming pearls, long sleeves, a hand guard “a horseshoe” Matixiu, are in black silk. His winter headgear is made of black and red silk, and is topped with a transparent crystal prism (this is a symbol of having a 5th grade rank). The entire headdress is embedded in a metal support. There are many symbolic meanings in this headdress which allude to the rank of the person wearing the dress; these symbols include grains in glass, jade and coral fossil. The dress was worn with black velvet high heeled boots and often times paired with a white linen or gray cotton shirt.