Nobleman’s Woven Bamboo Vest

19th Century
21” w. 33” h.

A bamboo vest like this was worn by a bride and groom over their outer silk garments on their wedding day. The openwork bamboo provides ventilation and protects the outer silk outfit. Under these fine clothing the couple also wore a two-piece suit of plain white cotton as their innermost layer of clothing. This suit was the mandatory outfit prescribed for the solemn purification rite which took place in the pre-dawn hours of the wedding day, and would be carefully preserved to the end of the owner’s life, for final interment in the coffin. The bamboo out fit was treasured and might be passed on to the next generation for another wedding. Bamboo vests involve a lot of tedious work and are rare.