Texas Woman's University, the Woman's Collection

Martha Harmon Rountree Chinese Textile Collection

An Inventory to the Collection



Overview

Creator: Rountree, Martha Harmon.
Title: Martha Harmon Rountree Chinese Textile Collection
Date: 1890 - early 20th century
Abstract: Served in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) of World War II, class of 44-5. Roundtree acquired the collection from L.W. Detzer who was a representative of Bethlehem Steel in Manila, Philippines, and his wife, Florence Detzer. Florence Detzer made buying trips to Hong Kong to assemble the collection of historic Chinese textiles. Chinese imperial clothing from the Qing Dynasty period and wedding accessories from the Peranakan Chinese; woven panels, embroidered scrolls, and fabric lengths including Thai silk from Bangkok, as well as emboidered silk jewerly boxes. The primary pieces of the collection consist of five women's Chinese robes and five skirts, all semis-formal and of varying colors and styles.
Location: Clothing and Textiles 256
Size: 3 cubic feet, 22 items.
Archives Texas Woman's University, the Woman's Collection

Biographical Note

Served in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) of World War II, class of 44-5. Mrs. Rountree acquired the collection from L. W. . Detzer who was a representative of Bethlehem Steel in Manila, Philippines, and his wife, Florence Detzer. Florence Detzer made buying trips to Hong Kong to assemble the collection of historic Chinese textiles.


Scope and Contents of the Collection

Chinese imperial clothing from the Ch'ing Dynasty period, including women's robes and skirts; wedding accessories from the Peranakan Chinese; woven panels; embroidered scrolls; fabric lengths including a Thai silk scarf from Bangkok; and embroidered silk jewelry boxes.


 

Arrangement of the Collection

Series 1 : Robes
Series 2 : Skirts
Series 3 : Peranakan WEdding Accessories
Series 4 : Fabric Lengths
Series 5 : Jewelry boxes
Series 6 : Panels
Series 7 : Scrolls

Restrictions

Access to the Collection:

Open for research.

Publication and Copyright Statements:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained in writing from the Coordinator for Special Collections. Where copyright is unclear, all responsibility must be assumed by the user.


Administrative Information

Provenance

Martha Harmon Rountree Chinese Textile Collection was gifted by Martha Rountree

Processed/Encoded by:

Penny Bell 2009


Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Series 1: Robes

Woman's Purple Robe (semi-formal) (Rountree #10) (C and T 256.1)
Purple silk bordace, overlap front closure with five gilded toggles and loops, cuffed sleeves; embroidered in a motif of pale green and yellow melons, pink and white flowers on tendrils and multi-colored butterflies. Back length 53". [#10]
Woman's Teal Short robe (semi-formal) (Rountree #8)(C and T 256.2)
Teal satin lined with pale green damask; knee-length with dies slits, four gilded toggle and loops wtih center closure, cuffed sleeves; embroidered in Peking stitch with bats, peonies and other flowers in yellow, pale red, green, and blue appliqued. Back length 40".
Woman's Red Satin Short Robe (semi-formal) (Rountree #9)(C and T 256.3)
Red satin lined in green damask, side slits and center 4 gilded toggle-and-loop closure, cuffed sleeves; embroidered in Peking and satin stitch with bats, flowers, and melons in shades of green, red, blue, and orange. Probably a wedding robe. Back length 42.75".
Woman's Gold / Tan Short Robe (semi-formal) (Rountree #12)(C and T 256.4)
Ivory silk lined in yellow cotton, side slits and showing ju-i scepter; center closure with 4 guilded toggle-and-lops, cuffed sleeves; butterflies embroidered all over the body with narrow black and red borders. Back length 43".
Woman's Purple Long Robe (Rountree #15)(C and T 256.5)
Purple damask silk, side slits showing ju-i scepter and side overlap closure with four gilded toggle-and -loops, cuffed sleeves; embroidered border fabric and ribbon of water lilies in white, blue, yellow, pink, and purple and outer Interlocking swastika design border. Back length 53.5".



 

Series 2: Skirts

Woman's Gold Skirt (Rountree #30)(C and T 256.6)
Gold silk lined in pink silk, composed of two separate panels joined to a 6: white linen waist band, each panel consists of six sections; Peking stitch embroidery of pink peonies, chrysanthemums, and melons in shades of blue, green red, and white. Back length 39".
Woman's Yellow Pink Peony Skirt (Rountree #33)(C and T 256.7)
Yellow damask silk, lined in pale blue silk, composed of two separate pieces joined to a 7" white linen waist band;skirt is pleated except for front and back panels; embroidered with stylized flowers in vivid pink, purple, and green in peony and butterfly motif. Back length 38".
Woman's Peach Skirt (Rountree #27)(C and T 256.8)
Peach satin, unlined, composed of two seperate pieces joined to a 3" white waist band, each pieve consists of a panel and six sections; embroidered with blue satin-stitched flowers in shades of blue, bordered with black ribbon, embroidered with blue swastika geometric design interspersed with white and blue flowers. Back length 35".
Woman's Purple Pleated Skirt (semi-formal)(Rountree #K 14)(C and T 256.9)
Purple pleated silk, lined in red damask silk joined to a 4" white cotton waist band, each piece consists of multi-colored pleated sections and a panel; each pleat is appliqued and embroidered in elaborate floral designs and cutwork butterflies.
Woman's Yellow Skirt (semi-formal) (Rountree #31)(C and T 256.10)
Yellow silk damask composed of two separate pieces joined to a 6.5" blue cotton waist band, pleated except for front and back panels; panel embroidery includes scene of three women in garden in green, blue, purple, magenta, and gold. Back length 38".



 

Series 3: Peranakan Wedding Accessories

Peranakan is the name for descendents of Chinese and Indians in Malaya, Indonesia, and Singapore. Also known as the Straights Chinese.
Wedding Collar(C and T 256.11)
Wedding collar ca. 1890. Three-tiered collar with elaborate embroiderey including raised and pillowed symbols; fringed in multi-colored silk thread interwoven with small, silver disks.
Wedding Ceremony Knee Pads(C and T 256.12)
Wedding ceremony knee-pads embroidered in Peking stitch; central motif is a red lotus flower and two brown deer. Would have been used by a man.



 

Series 4: Fabric Lengths

Scarf, white, yellow, and black woven stripes.(C and T 256.13)
Scarf, white, yellow, and black woven stripes. Tag: "Star of Siam. Hand woven pure silk by Amfarco Thailand." Plastic wraplabel: "Star of Siam. Puare Thai Silk. Hand woven in Thailand. Amfarco-Bangkok." 80" x 19.5".
Textile, ivory silk with satin woven in fan motif.(C and T 256.14)
Textile, ivory silk with satin woven in fan motif. Characters written in selvage. 158" x 27.5".
Textile(C and T 256.15)
Textile, black silk with woven Chinese Shou design. 108" x 31.5".
Textile(C and T 256.16)
Textile, sheer gold colored woven silk gauze with bamboo motif. Original tag affixed to one corner. 43" x 44".



 

Series 5: Jewelry Boxes

Padded Box(C and T 256.17)
Padded box with attached lid covered with black satin, lined with royal blue satin; top is blue background embroidered with butterflies, and flowery tendrils. 2" x 9.5" x 3.5".
Box covered in black satin(C and T 256.18)
Box covered in black satin, lined with aqua satin; attached lid is white satin embroidered with a brown horse and a white horse under a willow tree bordering an expanse of water. 2" x 9.5" x 3.5".



 

Series 6: Panels

Pale blue K'o-ssu silk panel(C and T 256.19)
Pale blue K'o-ssu silk panel with Chinese coin and ju'l scepter designs. 30" x 10".
Ivory K'o-ssu silk panel(C and T 256.20)
Ivory K'o-ssu silk panel with Chinese coin and ju'i scepter designs. Tag attached. 14" x 10".



 

Series 7:Scrolls

Bird and Flowers Embroidery(C and T 256.21) (C and T 256.22)
Birds and Flowers Embroidery. Pale purple silk border surrounding an embroidered scene of birds and flowers blued onto a paper backing. Scrolls depict the same scene in reverese. Tung Chih. 23" x 12".



 

Series 8: Exhibit Catalogs and Books

Catalogs and Books
An Exhibit of Chinese Imperial Robes and Textiles,Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1960.
Chinese Court robes in the Victoria and Albert Museum,1968.
Chinese Imperial Robes,Minneapolis Institute of Arts, n.d.
Clothed to Rule the Universe,Art Institute of Chicago, 2000.
Imperial Robes and Textiles of the Chinese Court,Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1943.
Ruling from the Dragon Throne,John E. Vollmer, 2002
Calder; an Autobiography with Pictures, Alexander Calder and Jean Davidson, 1966.