Pair of Carved Emperor Armchairs
Jiangsu, circa 1860
Crafted from beech wood in Jiangsu province in Eastern China, these remarkable chairs were likely designated for use by important guests or family elders, placed as a pair in a reception room. Dating back to the mid 19th century, their design is heavier and more ornate than the earlier, more mininmalist style of Ming furniture.
Their scrolling arms and posts are adorned with S shapes and end in stylized dragons. The wide backrests are each fitted with four panels that incorporte beautiful, detailed carvings. The two small lower panels are carved through with delicate floral patterns, with a similar design in the top panels in relief. The larger, central panels are more ornate, with beautiful carvings of various figures from literature set against an interlinking, honeycomb frame. Four circular long life symbols are set around the main carvings. These carved sections would once have been in bright colours - reds, greens, blacks and golds - to contrast with the plainer arms and lower parts of the chairs. the colours are still visible but now more subdued in tone.
Place them in a hallway or reception room either side of a console or sideboard for a luxurious look. Sold as a pair, the price shown is for the two chairs.
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