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Catalog Data

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Physical Description:
silk (overall material)
satin (overall material)
overall: 72 cm x 131 cm; 28 3/8 in x 51 9/16 in
Object Name:
gown, man's
Object Type:
Main Dress
Place made:
United States: New York, Manhattan, Chinatown
Date made:
ca 1896
Description (Brief):
Lee B. Lok (1869-1942) immigrated to San Francisco from Guangdong Province, China in 1881 and soon after moved to New York City's Chinatown where he worked in the Quong Yuen Shing & Co. store.
Lee B. Lok ordered this gown from China to wear at the 1896 arrival ceremony in New York of Li Hongzhang, emissary of the Empress Dowager of China. Soon after Lee came to America he abandoned Chinese clothes for daily use and cut his queue. However on special occasions Lee wore clothing that identified him as Chinese. This Manchu style gown splits at the back, front, and both sides to allow for easy movement on horseback – a reflection of the Manchu people’s equestrian background.
Currently not on view
Chinese American  Search this
Immigration  Search this
Immigrants  Search this
Related event:
Li Hongzhang visit to New York  Search this
Related Publication:
Mead, Virginia Lee. Lee Chinese -American Family Papers, ca. 1915-1970
Related Web Publication:
Credit Line:
Gift of James Edgar Mead and Virginia Lee Mead
ID Number:
Catalog number:
Accession number:
See more items in:
Cultural and Community Life: Costume
Cultures & Communities
Clothing & Accessories
Transcontinental Railroad
Family & Social Life
Chinese American
Data Source:
National Museum of American History