Title:Yokeback ArmchairArtist:Artist UnknownDate:c. 1550Creation Place:Asia, ChinaCredit Line:Gift of Ruth and Bruce DaytonAccession Number:95.93.1
One of the oldest objects in the museum's collection of Chinese furniture, this grand armchair possesses distinct construction features and carved details that can also be seen in six nearly identical chairs in various Chinese and western collections. These pieces have a fu character (for happiness and good fortune) in the upper registers of their ornately carved divided splats. The turned arm supports depict bamboo stalks in vases, a rebus for peace and virtue. In spite of its functional nature, the chair nevertheless projects wishes for luck, happiness, peace, and virtue. Tall armchairs were reserved for use by the most important members of a Chinese family and guests of high status.