Pair of Shanxi Antique Elm Armchairs
Shanxi, circa 1890
This beautiful pair of chairs are in elm wood and come from Shanxi in central China. They are based on a style known as 'official's hat' or 'yoke-back', but in this case the extending top rail that gives the style its name is only slightly curved. Unusually, the rail, legs and supporting posts are all squared rather than rounded. As is typical on Chinese chairs the backrest has some lovely carved decoration. In this case there is an auspicious 'ruyi' symbol in open carving on each chair above a Chinese unicorn ('kylin') in relief. Originally in a deep black lacquer, the finish has largely worn on the seat, armrests and footrests to show the paler wood underneath. A beautiful, quite unusual example of Chinese armchairs that would look fantastic in a modern setting. Sold as a pair, the price shown is for both chairs.