19th Century Huanghuali ‘Offical’s Hat” Yokeback Armchairs Guanmoyi Style a Pair
A fine pair of 19th century Huanghuali ‘Offical’s Hat” Yokeback armchairs Guanmoyi style each with a scrolled crest rail above a gently curved backsplat, without-scrolled arms supported by S-form stiles mortise and tenoned to the seat frame, the Backrest carved with entwined vines, the legs joined by footrail, side and back stretchers
Huanghuali yoke-back armchairs of this type are of striking modernity in the simplicity and balance of their lines. They are called guanmao yi or ‘official hat-shaped chairs’, the name derived from its resemblance to the winged hat that was part of the formal attire of the Ming officials. They were regarded as high chairs and retained a connotation of status and authority associated with the elite gentry in Chinese society. The classical text Lu Ban jing (Manuscript of Lu Ban), a 15th century carpenter’s manual, gives specifications for these chairs and describes the joinery as the embodiment and fine example of Chinese furniture. They are special because only four pieces of wood are used for the four verticals of the front legs and front arm-posts, the back legs and back posts, with each vertical passing through the frame of the seat.
The pair from an East 81st NYC estate with a large collection of period pieces.
Materials and Techniques: Hardwood, Hand-Painted
Height: 47.992 in. (121.9 cm)
Width: 27 in. (68.58 cm)
Depth: 26 in. (66.04 cm)
Seat Height: 21 in. (53.34 cm)
Date of Manufacture: 1860s
Period: Late 19th Century
Similar to: Huanghuali Ox (Designer)
Place of Origin: China