Pair of Elm Southern Official Armchairs
Shanxi, circa 1860
This gorgeous pair of chairs are in the 'Southern Offical' style - a design that came later on in China's history. The main development was that the top rail fits directly to the back-bending stiles that form the chairs' rear legs, rather than extending over them as they do in 'Yoke-Back' (or 'Official's Hat') chairs. On this pair the original lacquer finish has worn away, leaving the pale, beautifully grained character of the elm wood to shine through. Perfectly constructed with accurate mortise and tenons joints, subtly curved stiles and side posts and shallows C shaped backrests, the chairs have a beautifully balanced look about them. Each backrest has a decorative, circular motif of a scrolling dragon in carved relief positioned centrally. Sold as a pair the price shown is for the two chairs.