Superb Dense Manila Manton - Cantonese embroidery
Made in Canton, China in 1880-1900
Antique shawl with white embroidery on black silk base
Profusely embroidered with figures and scenes with pagodas and other buildings, Chinese figures go about performing their daily life alongside various animals and birds, flowers and plants.
The embroidery is double-sided and in a casual glance it is hard to tell which is the correct side.
How was this double sided embroidery done? No knots in the embroidery? How does the thread stay in place if there is no knot? These complexities make the craft within the textile as powerful as the cultural story contained within it.
Also known as Piano Shawl, Fringed Flapper Shawl & Flamenco Shawl.
The lives of Manila Mantons covered 3 regions: China, Philippines & Spain. Produced in Canton, they were named after the trading port Manila and finally used and coveted by women in Spain (and later other Spanish colonies) a few centuries ago.
This is a perfect elegant accessory for an evening out that can be worn be several generations