Chinese Antique Furniture Culture
The chinese antique furniture is of exquisite design, unique workmanship and careful carving. It has been the rare treasure and one of the most splendid parts of Oriental culture.

  Chinese Antique Furniture -- Jiaoyi - Ancient Folding Chair

It is not uncommon for someone to ask an official the oft-repeated question:"Which jiaoyi are you in?" The question is meant to clarify the man's exact position in the leadership of his institution.


In the eyes of most people, jiaoyi is synonymous to power. But what is a jiaoyi? The word referes to a folding chair in use in ancient China. Being collapsible, the jiaoyi came in handy for those going outdoors. The predecessor of jiaoyi was the folding stools of the northern Huns. Images of such stools can be seen in the frescos in the Thousand Buddha Grottoes in the Tuyu Gully of Turpan. Jiaoyi fall roughly into three categories. Armchair with a round back. This belongs to the highest grade of yiaoyi and was for the exclusive use of members of the imperial family. When folded, such chairs could be carried on a journey, and this is why they were also known as "traveling chairs". When the emperor went on a hunting excursion, his bodyguard would follow in tow with the folding chairs on their shoulders. Thus jianyi was also known as " Hunter's chair". Armchair with a straight back. This type of jiaoyi features arms that are longer than usual, and is mostly of them were made of Onmosia Henryi, a precious hardwood. Such a jiaoyi was usually for the enjoyment of the learned and moneyed gentry in their studies or countyards. Chair with a straight back but no arms. This type of jiaoyi is relatively simpler in structure and usually made from run-of-the-mill materials. Many of them are still in use in the rural areas of north China. High-grade jiaoyi could be found in museums at home and abroad; there are few of them in the hands of private users. By far there are only about 100 folding Onmosia Henryi armchairs with a round back that date back to the Ming and Qing Dynasties.


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