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Chinese Chairs

In early Chinese history, excavated images indicate that Chinese chairs were likely not developed until 500 B.C. Then, at the emergence of China’s first chairs, the Chinese demonstrate a seamless merging of artistic decoration with functional form.

The Chinese developed several types of seating. Large barrel-shaped stools, made of ceramic or strong lacquered wood, were primarily made for enjoying a garden outdoors. These stools were hollow in the inside and consisted of ornate carvings and paintings on the outer surface. Most chairs were made of wood, starting from the early design of the yoke back chair which spawned multiple adaptations over time.

Yoke back chairs were characterized by a curved top rail that dips furthest back towards the middle, and extends forward and back again on either side like a wave. This form had two straight wooden beams connecting the seat to the top rail, and one wider wood piece serving as a backrest called a splat.

Later, U-shaped or horseshoe-shaped chairs were developed. For the most part, the wood grain on early Chinese chairs was preserved by absence of elaborate decoration. In later years, though, the center splat backs tended to become more ornamented.


Quick Facts

  • Early Chinese chairs or stools emerged as influenced by foreigners. Nomads or foreigners from the northern or western regions used a folding stool to mount horses, which eventually became popular to use for sitting during hunting or traveling
  • Zitan, also known as Red Sandalwood, was the hardest and therefore most preferred hardwood for creating Chinese chairs. During the Ming dynasty, this wood was almost entirely wiped out due to popularity. Rosewood, or “huanghuali," was more commonly used instead
  • The U-shaped chair became inspiration for Hans Wegner’s wishbone chair designs. Hans Wegner is an extremely influential 20th century Danish designer

Recommended Items at Auction

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PAIR CHINESE GARDEN SEATS
Oct 29, 10:00 AM CDT
PAIR CHINESE GARDEN SEATS
by Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $100- $400
$904 Bids
Chinese Rosewood Finely Carved Armchair
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
Chinese Rosewood Finely Carved Armchair
by Kavanagh Auctions
Est: $50- $15,000
$603 Bids
Chinese Carved Dragon Chair
Oct 30, 11:30 AM EDT
Chinese Carved Dragon Chair
by Joshua Kodner
Est: $400- $600
$1001 Bid
Chinese antique rosewood armchair w/ MOP inlaid
Nov 01, 2:00 PM PDT
Chinese antique rosewood armchair w/ MOP inlaid
by International Auction Gallery
Est: $150- $350
$501 Bid
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PAIR OF CHINESE ARMCHAIRS 19th Century Back heights 41.5”. Seat heights 21”.
Nov 04, 9:30 AM EDT
PAIR OF CHINESE ARMCHAIRS 19th Century Back heights 41.5”. Seat heights 21”.
by Eldred's
Est: $500- $800
$2501 Bid
Two Chairs
Oct 30, 9:00 AM EDT
Two Chairs
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$51 Bid
PAIR OF CHINESE HARDWOOD FOLDING CHAIRS
Oct 31, 8:00 PM EDT
PAIR OF CHINESE HARDWOOD FOLDING CHAIRS
by NC Auctioneer Inc.
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$5001 Bid
TWO CHINESE ROSEWOOD GARDEN SEATS, 20TH CENTURY
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
TWO CHINESE ROSEWOOD GARDEN SEATS, 20TH CENTURY
by Everard Auctions and Appraisals
Est: $100- $200
$601 Bid
China 19th century enamelled stoneware garden stool Sizes: H=470mm D=350mm Weight (K): 12,
Oct 31, 10:00 AM CET
China 19th century enamelled stoneware garden stool Sizes: H=470mm D=350mm Weight (K): 12,
by Goldfield Auction
Est: €200- €300
€2000 Bids
Pair of garden stools, China,
Nov 04, 10:00 AM CET
Pair of garden stools, China,
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€1200 Bids
Pair of garden stools, China,
Nov 04, 10:00 AM CET
Pair of garden stools, China,
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€1200 Bids
Garden stool, China, 20th cent
Nov 04, 10:00 AM CET
Garden stool, China, 20th cent
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€1200 Bids
Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Garden Stool
Oct 30, 9:30 AM EDT
Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Garden Stool
by Luban Antique
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
PR OF 19TH C. CHINESE ANCESTRAL ARMCHAIRS
Nov 12, 11:00 AM EST
PR OF 19TH C. CHINESE ANCESTRAL ARMCHAIRS
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $800- $1,000
$4000 Bids
Pair of Chinese Carved Armchairs
Oct 29, 9:30 AM EDT
Pair of Chinese Carved Armchairs
by Merrill's Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $300- $500
$1000 Bids
Chinese Carved Dragon Throne Chair
Oct 30, 11:30 AM EDT
Chinese Carved Dragon Throne Chair
by Joshua Kodner
Est: $100- $400
$500 Bids
Chinese Carved Dragon Throne Chair
Oct 30, 11:30 AM EDT
Chinese Carved Dragon Throne Chair
by Joshua Kodner
Est: $50- $75
$250 Bids
A CHINESE WUCAI PORCELAIN STOOL DECORATION
Oct 30, 8:00 PM EDT
A CHINESE WUCAI PORCELAIN STOOL DECORATION
by NC Auctioneer Inc.
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$4000 Bids
A CHINESE HARDWOOD FOLDING STOOL
Oct 31, 8:00 PM EDT
A CHINESE HARDWOOD FOLDING STOOL
by NC Auctioneer Inc.
Est: $600- $800
$2000 Bids
Chinese Carved Dragon Chair
Oct 30, 11:30 AM EDT
Chinese Carved Dragon Chair
by Joshua Kodner
Est: $400- $600
$1000 Bids
Chinese Yixing Zisha Clay Monkey & Tree Stool Teapot w Wangyinxian Mark
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
Chinese Yixing Zisha Clay Monkey & Tree Stool Teapot w Wangyinxian Mark
by Quan Rong Gallery
Est: $900- $1,200
$3690 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Chinese Chairs


Sheppards

Sheppards

Eldred's

Eldred's

Joshua Kodner

Joshua Kodner