Pair of Chinese Export Side Tables

Made of Hongmu wood, the tables take the form of 'Meiguiyi' low-back armchairs made during the eighteenth century; the panelled top with shaped stretchers close under each top and a lower tier shelf of the same construction.

Chinese Export, circa 1900

Chairs of this type are known as meiguiyi, or rose chairs, in Northern China, while in the South they are known as wenyi or scholar's chair. The form is characterised by its low regular back and it is thought that when placed in the scholar's studio, it would fit neatly under the window without obstructing the view outside. Smaller and less formal than the yoke-back or horseshoeback armchair, the low-back armchair is often more ornately decorated. It was first popular in the Ming dynasty for its light construction and elegant appearance.

(See Beijing Palace Museum collection, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - Furniture of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (I), Hong Kong, 2002, p.51, no. 37)
H 36cm x W 32cm x D 52cm
H 14¼" x W 12¾" x D 20½"


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