Chair cover

This is possibly an embroidered chair cover used for the traditional 12 day Peranakan Chinese wedding. 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. This is a technique where one or more threads are laid on the fabric surface and sewn to the fabric at regular intervals. The phoenix, qilin and peony are all regarded as auspicious motifs by the Peranakans and are commonly found in Peranakan wedding material culture. For example, the qilin is considered a good omen that brings serenity and prosperity.

Late 19th-early 20th century
Gross measurement: 140 x 64.4 cm
Accession No.
cotton, gold thread
Collection of
Peranakan Museum