19thC Taoist Altar Banner ‘The Flaming Pearl’

From Bac Ninh province, Red River Valley, Vietnam, this very rare 19th Century Asian antique textile is the central panel from a Taoist altar banner. It is hand embroidered with silk and precious metal-wrapped thread on red cotton. It has been rescued as the most important and detailed section of the banner that was otherwise destroyed over time.

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The sacred image is referred to as Y-Mon and is traditionally hung over the altar table in pagodas, temples and occasionally homes. This particular example is unusually elegant and complex. The name of the image translates to ‘the flaming pearl’ and is a much beloved Taoist symbol associated with good luck and prosperity. It is sometimes also referred to as the ‘Wish Granting Pearl.’ This antique silk artifact has been framed with cream silk, teak wood and glass. Some reflection off the glass was unavoidable when photographing this artifact.

Characteristics
Actual Image: 43cm x 23cm, 17in x 9in
Frame: 61cm x 41cm, 24in x 16in
Provenance: Art Gallery, Hanoi
Period: 19th century

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