Silk Trousers with Animal Motifs

Silk trousers with wide legs, decorated with white embroidery around the side pockets and the lower part. Bottom embroidery patterns feature top and bottom registers with repeating floral medallions flanked by four-legged animal motifs that are larger on top and smaller below. A narrow band with small floral medallions alternating with graceful leaf-like forms separates the two main registers, and the bottom edge is trimmed with white lace. More detailed embroidery around the pockets than other examples. The silk damask fabric, probably imported from China, is woven with foliate patterns. Nineteenth-century paintings portray male officials in Manila with titles such as principales and gobernadorcillos wearing these dark blue trousers. (Florina H. Capistrano-Baker)

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