18th Century Chinese Export Carved Padouk Corner Chair
18th Century Chinese Export Carved Padouk Corner Chair
18th Century Chinese Export Carved Padouk Corner Chair
18th Century Chinese Export Carved Padouk Corner Chair
18th Century Chinese Export Carved Padouk Corner Chair

18th Century Chinese Export Carved Padouk Corner Chair

c. 1765 Goa India

Offered by Thomas Coulborn & Sons

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Attributed to a Chinese chair maker working in Goa, India.

With triple pierced splats decorated with pierced ruyi-head, flanked by scrolling arms, scalloped edges to the seat rails and standing on cabriole legs joined by ‘x’ frame stretchers, on pad feet.

In his book ‘Luxury Goods From India: the art of the Indian Cabinet-Maker’, Amin Jaffer explains that ‘the inverted cloud motif on the splats derives from the head of a ruyi (literally ‘what one wants’), a wand associated with good fortune and the realization of worldy aspirations. Ruyi seem to have evolved as a fashionable accessory after the end of the Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) but were still current in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) at which time they had heads in the shape of stylized clouds’. It was highly likely that Chinese chair makers were working in Portugese India (see Amin Jaffer, ‘Luxury Goods From India: the art of the Indian Cabinet-Maker’, London: V&A, 2002, p.79).

At this time, Goa was the largest territory in what became known as the State of Portuguese India, but these chairs reflect the fashion for English furniture forms that was popular in southern India in the mid eighteenth Century. It is also known that Chinese craftsmen were working in Goa at that time. There is a very closely related pair of corner chairs at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London (Museum numbers: 312-1879 and 312A-1879. See Jaffer, op. cit., illustrated on p.78). These two chairs are made of East Indian rosewood, dated 1760-70, and have similar pierced ruyi-head on the splats. Interestingly, Amin Jaffer explains that, when these chairs were acquired by the V&A in 1879, they were erroneously believed to be of mid-eighteenth Century English manufacture.

Jaffer illustrates an East India Company gouache from the mid 18th Century depicting ‘An English official in discussion with a nawab and his sons’ (Jaffer, op. cit., p.79). This gouache depicts a pair of similar corner armchairs, which have cabriole legs with similar distinctive low cross-stretchers.
Dimensions
Height 89.00 cm (35.04 inches)
Width 76.00 cm (29.92 inches)
Depth 51.00 cm (20.08 inches)
Stock Code
6377
Medium
Carved Padouk.
Thomas Coulborn & Sons

Thomas Coulborn & Sons
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Sutton Coldfield
West Midlands
B72 1QP
England

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