Armoured surcoat

56.27.204
A very rare armoured robe or surcoat used in Tibet, but representing an example of Chinese ceremonial armour. The foundation of the tunic is a red cotton or linen like fabric lined with red silk on the interior. The exterior is covered with overlapping rows of small shield-shaped copper scales, possibly originally gilded, each scale has four holes allowing it to be sewn to the foundation fabric. The borders of the robe are covered with a brocade silk which has a large floral pattern. At the neck is a short collar in silk brocade.