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Scholar's armchairs

19th century

Scholar's armchairsOrigin: Shanxi province

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This pair of scholar armchairs has a striking presence of elegance and stateliness.

The structural posts of the chairs are round with soft curves for seating comfort and a dynamic flow. The back support is quite wide with three sections. The legs are slightly tapered enhancing sturdiness.

The approach of using contrasting relief and openwork carvings light up chairs and give auspicious meaning to the object.

Scholar's armchairs backThe upper section on the back panel has a fly whisk with a vase containing coral and a sceptre called a ruyi. In essence these represent a wish for career advancement. The middle part has a longevity medallion with longevity spiral border. The relief carving on the lower section echoes the corner spandrels between the top rail and the vertical posts. It is a dragon motif, a symbol of power and authority. The apron under the seat has a prosperity medallion.

The original tree sap based lacquer is in good condition with clear signs of wear from centuries of use.