Title:Imperial ThroneArtist:Artist UnknownDate:Ch'ing dynasty, Ch'ien-lung periodCreation Place:Asia, ChinaCredit Line:Gift of Ruth and Bruce DaytonAccession Number:93.32a-d
Made during the Ch'ien-lung period (1736-95), this rare piece of court furniture is one of the larger and more fully decorated thrones outside of China. Few lacquered thrones have dragons and celestial landscapes like those found here painted in gold lacquer across the entire expanse of the seat. The composition and iconography of the five-clawed imperial dragons cavorting amongst clouds and flaming pearls above the ocean is an official insignia and is similar to the decoration of court robes and other official court textiles of the period. The cabriole legs, aprons, and openwork back and side panels are all carved in relief with scrolls and lacquered in green, red, and gold. The panels of the removable back and side rails are decorated with stylized dragons and shou medallions emblematic of imperial rule and long life.