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Tapestry: The Empress's Tea from The Story of the Emperor of China Series
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Beauvais Tapestry Manufactory; after designs by Guy-Louis Vernansal
French, Beauvais, about 1697 - 1705
Wool and silk; modern cotton lining
13 ft. 9 in. x 6 ft. 3 in.
89.DD.62

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In a tapestry from a set known as The Story of the Emperor of China series, the empress sits cross-legged on a large cushion beneath a small domed pavilion in the open air. A maid shields her from the sun with a parasol, while two others serve her fruit and tea. To the right, a square table holds a large metal ewer and a basket with various glass and blue-and-white porcelain vessels. Floral swags hang from the poles of the pavilion, and a circlet of flowers is suspended in the middle.