Chinese Rug, 4' x 8'
Hanging on the north wall of the Thomas Room, beside the fireplace, is an ornamental rug. Woven in dark blue and tan are the mythical bird, fenghuang, and a crane surrounded by tree peonies. The fenghuang is a bird of benevolence, prosperity, and marital bliss. The symbolic female counterpart to the dragon, it is associated with an empress. Appropriately, this rug was prepared for the palace of the Empress Dowager Cixi in the Forbidden City. The inscription at the top of the rug translates, "prepared for the Palace Hall of Tranquility and Longevity." The flat metallic threads in the background were originally gold in color but have tarnished.
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