THREADS OF GOLD, 
Chinese Textiles
Ming to Ch’ing

by Paul Haig & Marla Shelton
review by Joyce Zakierski Simmons

 

A photo of the book cover from "Threads of Gold, Chinese textiles Ming to Ching"

 


China is a country with a 5,000 year history and a population of 1.3 billion people. Many disjoints exist in China between the past and the present, men and women, age generations and the city and countryside way of life. A common ‘thread’ that binds the country together is explored in Chinese Textiles, Threads of Gold, Ming to Ch’ing, by Paul Haig and Marla Shelton.

The book traces the history of Chinese textiles from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) to the Ch’ing Dynasty (1644-1911): fabrics, woven with magnificent designs and colors. In accient China, silk was the most desirable material not only to clothe the aristocracy, but was used to acquire horses from nomadic tribes, pay taxes, supply tribute and win loyalty. In fact, the Silk Road acquired its name from this vast trade route throughout Asia where textiles were traded.

One thousand years ago in Asia, this luxury commodity symbolized power and prestige and was synonymous with gold. This book is beautifully illustrated with over 500 photos of ceremonial court robes, badges and decorative textiles. It is a tribute to the skilled weavers and embroiderers of the day. An useful reference for historians, scholars and textile collectors of Asian art, this coffee table book sells for $79.95. Within the book there is a grading system that relates what constitutes value that makes it a must purchase for both appraisers and connoisseurs alike.

 

 

Review reprinted with permission

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