Low Round Back Ladies Armchairs with Ruyi Carvings

Shanxi Province, C19th

Dimensions: W:52 D:37 H:81 (cm)
Reference: CH163


  • Description

    The defining feature of these low armchairs is the pierced carving of wish fulfilling ruyi, an auspicious focal point surrounded by light on a dark background.

    As a form, the large round back chair, also known as the horseshoe chair, was considered the most ceremonial of chairs. Although different designs  including this pair also known as ladies chairs are of a much more petite form.

    The design is a fascinating three-dimensional profile offering a combination of line and curve from every angle.

    The chairs display wonderful and practical vernacular carpentry using bent willow, in which a single piece of carefully bent willow forms the crest rail. It is supported by the back splat and three tall uprights on each side, giving a graceful curvilinear form that is continuous and in perfect proportion, creating a sense of three-dimensional space for the sitter to occupy.

    Like the crest rail, the splayed legs are formed by carefully steaming the willow enabling it to bend and pass over the seat frame. The rectangular seats are of new rattan.


  • Print

…fascinating three-dimensional profile…

  • Rare genuine antiques
  • Highly appreciated sympathetic restoration
  • International delivery available
  • Over many years I have found Sharon’s treasure trove of Chinese furniture a wonderful insight into China’s history and heritage. Each piece tells a story of bygone days and I only wish I had more space to accommodate even more items.

    Lou Tabor
  • We are absolutely delighted with the our tall red lacquered leather Chinese hat-box we purchased from Sharon Fitzsimmons. We were looking for an interesting and unusual piece, and this absolutely fits the brief. The quality, colour and size are perfect for our needs, both in appearance and as a useful side-table. Not only that, but we have an interesting talking point for our guests!

    Peter and Joanna Ruddock
  • I have a modern house and the clean lines of antique Chinese furniture suit it very well. The occasional red lacquer piece looks striking, such as a coffer I use as a sideboard in my dining area. I particularly love a pair of narrow, columnar walnut Gansu cabinets and I think they will enhance a contemporary walnut dining table I am awaiting delivery. I like the visual interest of old wood and mixing old and new adds character to a decor.

    Tina MacFarlane

Why Choose a Piece from the Collection

We have a rigorous selection criteria that every late Qing Dysnasty (1644-1911) piece must meet: authenticity, rarity, originality, function and fine craftsmanship. The provenance varies but is mostly Shanxi Province, a region renowned for Qing furniture. We offer diversity, and styles range from classical to vernacular. Over the many years the true testimony of our selection process is that customers are more than satisfied, and are often repeat buyers, as pieces are consistently proven to enhance interiors.

Restoration as Conservation of Antiques

Dedicated singlemindedness in carefully and painstakingly restoring every single antique, simple or complex, has resulted in a sympathetic conservation of antiques, pleasingly meeting customers satisfaction. Our restorers have an understanding of the original craftsman’s skills such as joinery, lacquering, carving, painting and other age old carpentry ways. Each restoration is done by experienced and skilled craftsmen with great attention to detail. On completion each piece is a stand alone form, with presence, integrity and artistic personality.