Chair cover

This is possibly an embroidered chair cover used for weddings. During the traditional 12 day wedding at the turn of the 20th century, Peranakan Chinese would decorate their homes with commissioned wedding fineries such as elaborate textiles and beadwork. Many pieces of furniture would be extensively decorated. For example, complete sets of 8 wedding chair covers were required for the set of 8 chairs in the thia besar (main living room). They were also used in pairs for the chairs next to the various altars in the Peranakan home. These chair covers, such as this piece, were usually decorated with auspicious motifs to suit the occasion.The back of the chair cover features 2 lively phoenixes encircling a peony in full bloom. The leg area features 5 lively qilin (mythical Chinese creature). These motifs are created using gold thread couching. The phoenix, qilin and peony are all regarded as auspicious motifs by the Peranakans and are commonly found in Peranakan wedding material culture.

Date/Period
Late 19th-early 20th century
Region
Penang
Dimension
Gross measurement: 139.7 x 65.6 cm
Accession No.
2010-01350
Material
cotton, gold thread
Collection of
Peranakan Museum
Category
Furnishings