Chinese Ming Terracotta Model Chairs

£ 450.00

A pair of Chinese Ming terracotta model chairs. Elegantly designed, these ‘minqi’ echo the form of functioning chairs, made for the aristocracy. Featuring a curved horseshoe frame and curved back support, the legs are formed into a x-form, terminating in a footrest. The pair are covered in various pigments, with a deep blue covering the majority of the frame and legs. A vibrant turquoise has been added to the curved spine and footrest to add additional decoration, whilst the seat is a vivid red pigment with an additional cross-hatched pattern.

Price is for the pair.

Date: Circa 1368-1644 AD
Period: Ming Dynasty
Condition: Extremely fine. Pigment remains vivid. Some loss of pigment to one of the chairs.

In stock

The Ming Dynasty played host to some of China’s most renowned artistic achievements. The culture’s artistic explosion can be in part explained by the Ming dynasty’s economic success. In ancient China it was common practice to bury terracotta miniatures of utilitarian and ornamental objects with the deceased. These objects were offered to assist and help the deceased in the afterlife, and they would have been modelled in the shape of cooking utensils, miniature replicas of their houses, as well as a range of furniture and other items. These particular chairs are modelled on a folding chair used in China, known as ‘jiaoyi’. Designed to be easily transported, hence the folding x-shaped legs, they were known as ‘hunters’ chairs and used whilst travelling. There were various levels of ‘jiaoyi’ used, ornate curved examples were used by the aristocracy. Example of model chairs have been discovered in stone, metal and wood. As a travelling chair they would have played an important part in the deceased’s journey through the afterlife.

Weight 1034 g
Dimensions L 11.1 x W 8.4 x H 18 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


Reference: For similar: The British Museum, London, item 1937,0716.135

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