reddish brown wood chair with protruding crest rail and arms

Yokeback Armchair, 16th-17th century

Unknown artist, expand_more

These early yokeback armchairs are distinguished by their generous proportions and robust bow-shaped crest rails. In this sense, the chairs relate in form to the wide and stately "meditation" seats of Buddhist monks illustrated in early Chinese paintings. The chairs can be seen as a stylistic interlude between the earlier true meditation chairs with round crest rails and the proportionally taller, more elegant, classic yokeback armchair that had become standard by the late 16th century on view in this gallery. The turned side posts supporting the arms simulate a vase containing a stalk of bamboo symbolizing peace and longevity.

Yokeback Armchair
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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reddish brown wood chair with protruding crest rail and arms