Armchairs with Rectangular Spiral Pattern Rails (pair)

18th Century
Elm
38.5 h.  25”w.  18.75”d

The form of these chairs is distinguished by its arms and back-splat constructed in a rectangular spiral pattern known as “guaizhi”.  The top of the backrest backrest is slightly arched back, with the rest divided ided into three deeply recessed and beaded panels, each with relief carvings containing auspicious symbols. The back of each backrest has the Chinese characters meaning “eternal peace” written in the middle of the splat.

Each one chair has an unusually wide head seat.  It has a narrow waist from which an all-around beaded apron arches out to join four “sword ridge” molded stretchers, before ended on feet incised with a scroll pattern.  The middle of each apron has a beaded archaic cloud-scroll design signifying a wish for many blessings to rain down from heaven, a design evolved during the Qing period.

This pair of chairs is in excellent condition.  It has retained its original thick dark lacquer coating, which has become finely crackled with age on some surfaces, giving them a crusty leathery look that gives the chair character.  These chairs, with “guaizhi” rail, slightly tilted crest-rail and extra wide seat for the comfort of the sitter, likely mean they were made for someone of high status.