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Published: 11 April 2020

By Andy Ross

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Article of the Week - number ten

Each week an item from the collection is highlighted on the blog. This week it is the turn of a jacket made of bamboo.

The piece was bought in Beijing more than two decades ago. These jackets are made of bamboo, or sometime coral, and were worn underneath silk garments where they acted to protect the delicate fabrics from oils and sweat as well as allowing heat to be lost in summer or trapped in winter. These Chinese undergarments date back to the Ming Dynasty and were used until the early part of the 20th Century. Worn by court officials latterly, they were also found in Korea, Japan, and present day Singapore and Malaysia. 

Sadly it is impossible to photograph the one in the collection, but this jacket in an image on Christies Auctioneer's website is very similar.