Details of a Chinese Carved Chair
Collectible chair is an early example of the collaboration between Eastern and Western furniture design
The 17th and 18th centuries encompassed a fascinating period in furniture design history, when a special collaboration took place between Europe and Asia. Armed with design books and onboard materials, European traders commissioned work for private export from Chinese furniture makers, who added their own details to the final product. The result was an amalgamation of design and construction techniques.
The chair featured in this video is a fine example of this collaboration. Built in China around 1750 for export to the West, the chair appears to have many elements found on 18th-century furniture from Europe and America, such as the cabriole leg. However, its design is strictly Chinese, as evidenced by the lion mask and Ming-style carvings that decorate it.
In this video, Bill Sargent, curator of the Asian Export Art exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, details the history of this piece and its influence on chairs made later in the century in Europe.
For more information about the Peabody Essex Museum call 866-745-1876 or go online at www.pem.org.