On April 5 in Hong Kong, Sotheby's sells at lot 3629 a hanging scroll 312 x 145 cm made in kesi with a woven assembly.
The center of the piece in a rectangular reserve is a huge character imitating calligraphy, woven in black on a beige background with a great firmness and regularity of the line. It is a shou, the character of longevity. The borders are animated by eleven gold wire dragons in various postures.
The top and bottom of the tapestry are decorated with flowers, fruit and five nice bats offering by rebus the wufu pengshou auspice meaning five blessings for longevity, a pun using the fu homophony between that animal and the longevity.
Qianlong loved this sumptuous gift, the only example of this size on the theme of longevity and using the best techniques of kesi with multiple and shimmering. colors. He stamped five well-aligned marks of his seals over the shou including the prestigious Qianlong yulan zhibao meaning treasure appreciated by Qianlong.
The decade birthdays of the emperors were the opportunity of grand celebrations prepared well in advance and Qianlong was very proud of his exceptional health and intact activity at 70 and 80. The dates of the five seals are consistent with the assumption that this kesi was offered to him for his eighties, 1790 in our calendar.