Shandong Southern Official Chairs
Shandong, circa 1900
This pair of armchairs in the 'Southern Official' style is from Shandong province in north eastern China and the thick, rounded frames are quite typical of furniture from the area. The chairs are made from elm, the reddish brown original lacquer now worn to reveal the wood beneath with its distinctive wide patterned grain. Each chair has an auspicious 'ruyi' symbol in carved relief on the curved backrest. This type of chair, where the top rail meets the ends of the side posts rather than protruding further and the ends of the arms join directly to supporting stiles, developed from the earlier 'official's hat' chair and has a more fluid style. Although not originally produced as a pair, the chairs are very similar. Sold as a pair, the price shown is for the two chairs.