Pair of Southern Official’s Hat Armchair

Shanxi Province, late C18th

Dimensions: W:56 D:43 H:103.5 (cm)
Reference: CH190


  • Description

    Presented in fine condition for an C18th pair of  high status chairs. The artistic flair of the Shanxi master craftsman can be seen in these more rounded armchairs with refined fretwork carvings. The form is essentially a derivation of the yokeback chair.

    The best Chinese chairs are designed to have sculptural form, as do these, to be viewed in the round.

    There is however marked differentiation from the restrained Ming style. This includes flamboyance and refined sensuousness in the exquisitely carved apron, the unusual thinning curvature in the crestrail, back posts, arms and supports. Collectively these create a unique visual aesthetic, giving the chairs a personality not found in Ming classicism.

    The backsplats have swirling dragon carvings symbolic of power and authority, which complement the unusual curved space of the upper half.

    The apron fretwork has subtle abstract bats, representing good fortune, while elaborate open carving lightens the solidity of the cubic frame on which it sits. Traces of original lacquer are evident throughout.

    Metal shields are present over the main joints in the upper half that would have been fitted to protect the joints over time.

  • Print

…flamboyance and refined sensuousness…

  • 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.