Shanxi Yoke-Back Elm Armchair
Shanxi, circa 1880
This elegant armchair presents a classic style that was popular from early on in Chinese history. Boasting its original black lacquer finish on the majority of the backrest and headrail, the wear of time has left the seat and foot rest in the paler, natural colour of the elm wood underneath. The unique yoke-back design features a curved headrail that lends the style its name, whilst curved arms sit atop similarly shaped posts. Adding comfort to the timeless design, a shallow 'S' shaped backrest rounds off the classic piece.
This chair features mortise and tenon joints to fit each sidepost into the headrail, but unusually these are bolstered with iron brackets. A delicately carved apron descending from the front provides an additional graceful flourish, and the legs are stabilized to the sides with double stretchers. This remarkable armchair was once part of a set, but is now a singularly unique piece in highly original condition.
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