Late 19th Century Chinese Hand-Carved Blackwood Chairs
➔Exquisite blackwood Chinese hand-carved chairs
➔ Carved back
➔ Square legs with stretcher base
China has nearly 5,000 years of recorded history. However, the history of Chinese furniture is even longer than that of its writing, which can be traced back to the Hemudu Culture more than 7,000 years ago, and it reached its peak in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.
Chinese used symbols to convey specific meanings for the owner.
Symbolism has long been an important part of Chinese culture with particular animals, plants, and even geometric patterns representing ideas or concepts.
Description of the symbols on the chair:
The design on the top rail of the chair is of mountains, peaches and waves.
The mountain is a symbol of stability.
Peaches represent longevity.
In the middle span of the chair can be seen a Qilin ( half lion, half dragon) playing with a ball.
A Qilin is believed to be a benevolent creature, its appearance is regarded as an auspicious sign.
On the sides, you can see bats, in fact, are about as good as a good lucks symbol can get, which is why you see them so often in furniture.
Two bats facing each other means “double luck.” Bats also symbolize longevity.
The lingzhi fungus below the Qilin remains the most popular form, as it symbolizes immortality in Chinese folklore.
Below the arm rest, you can see double gourds. The Cantonese pronunciation for this number is fatt (发), which implies “to prosper”. Since the shape of the gourd resembles “8”, the gourd is regarded as an auspicious object.
On the apron of the chair, the wish-fulfilling ruyi motif intertwined with auspicious waves patterns can be seen.
At the foot of the chair, the carved motif is called “Hui Wen” . It means fortune and endless wealth.
Available exclusively at Ming Fine Art Gallery , Straits Quay, Penang.