Absolutely gorgeous vintage 100% Chinese Silk Peony Flowers Scarf from the well-known Qiantaixiang Silk store in the ancient city of Suzho, China, which was established in 1863. This large (45" x 45") and lovely vintage silk scarf or wrap is in excellent unused condition with no flaws. The original tags are still attached.
Gorgeous fall colors of burgundy orangey/peach, white, green, orange and brown with a large border all around. Large orangey/peach colored peony flowers with green stems and leaves fill in the center. The corners have a burgundy background. Absolutely stunning!
Peony flowering plants are native to Asia and are used in many of their decorative arts. The peony is named after Paeon, a student of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing. Asclepius became jealous of his pupil; Zeus saved Paeon from the wrath of Asclepius by turning him into the peony flower.
Always known as a paradise of natural beauty, Suzhou is also a paradise of shopping. Several large-scale pedestrian streets in Suzhou collect the essence of Suzhou specialty and crafts. Besides silk and embroidery, Suzhou offers abundance of crafts such as sandal wood folding fans, silk fans, wood cut paintings, jade carvings, calligraphy and paintings. Guanqian Street has a history of more than 150 years and it is well known for many time-honored shops such as Daoxiangcun Cake Shop, Qiantaixiang Silk Shop, Huangtianyuan Dumpling Shop.
Silk fabric was first developed in ancient China, with some of the earliest examples found as early as 3500 BC. Legend gives credit for developing silk to a Chinese empress, Leizu (Hsi-Ling-Shih, Lei-Tzu). Silks were originally reserved for the Emperors of China for their own use and gifts to others, but spread gradually through Chinese culture and trade both geographically and socially, and then to many regions of Asia.
Silk rapidly became a popular luxury fabric in the many areas accessible to Chinese merchants because of its texture and lustre. Silk was in great demand, and became a staple of pre-industrial international trade. In July 2007, archeologists discovered intricately woven and dyed silk textiles in a tomb in Jiangxi province, dated to the Eastern Zhou Dynasty roughly 2,500 years ago. Although historians have suspected a long history of a formative textile industry in ancient China, this find of silk textiles employing "complicated techniques" of weaving and dyeing provides direct and concrete evidence for silks dating before the Mawangdui-discovery and other silks dating to the Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD).
The first evidence of the silk trade is the finding of silk in the hair of an Egyptian mummy of the 21st dynasty, c.1070 BC. The silk trade reached as far as the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa. This trade was so extensive that the major set of trade routes between Europe and Asia came to be known as the Silk Road.
The Emperors of China strove to keep knowledge of sericulture secret to maintain the Chinese monopoly. In the ancient era, silk from China was the most lucrative and sought-after luxury item traded across the Eurasian continent, and many civilizations, such as the ancient Persians, benefited economically from trade.
A2612 - Vintage 100% Chinese Silk Scarf QIANTAIXIANG SILK Peony Flowers Brown, Orange, Peach, Green & Burgundy 45" x 45"