Horseshoe Armchair, Light Elm
The light finish on this version of our horseshoe armchair, accentuates the grain of the elm wood and complexity of the build, as all the different joins can be seen. Known also in Chinese as 'Grand Tutor Chairs' (taishi yi), they were used initially by high ranking officials at court and were symbols of great status in Ming dynasty China. They later became more common but were still reserved for the most important visitors and members of a household. The chairs feature a beautifully curved back which extends to the arms in a horseshoe shape and were normally made using either three or five pieces of wood, with complex joinery holding them together, though more simplistic versions were also made using a single piece of flexible wood such as willow and remains one of the most recognisable of Chinese designs. Our chair is made with a rattan seat panel and the curved back splat features a dragon in carved relief. The chair could be used as occasional seating or as a dining chair.