Pr of 18th.Century Chinese Walnut Armchairs
Pair of Late 18th. Century Chinese Walnut Armchairs Pair of Late 18th. Century Chinese Walnut Armchairs This style of chair is known as a low back Southern Official’s Hat Armchair, sometimes referred to in Chinese as the refined scholar’s chair or writing chair. These variant names make it clear that this form of chair is strongly associated with the literati that formed the governing scholar class that ran Imperial China. This stunning pair is more rounded than most and the curvilinear form of arms, arm supports, crest rail, back splat and arm terminals invite and welcome one to sit. Although not a Ming design, the strong provincial flair of the Shanxi Province craftsmen can be seen in the pierced dragon carving and the unusual curved circular space encompassed by the upper half. The spherical and cubic forms are further accentuated by the delicate carved apron decoration. The floral and arboreal forms support an abstract carving of a bat which is the most fortuitous animal in the Chinese lexicon as its name, fu, is a harmony with the word that describes good fortune in Chinese life. This is matched by the abstract symbol of a dragon in the back splat which traditionally represents power and wealth. The quality of these chairs suggest ownership by a powerful family. They retain traces of the original lacquer.