Throughout Western history, armchairs have been a symbol of state and dignity. They were incredibly elaborate and ornate, decadently upholstered and often encrusted with precious stones.
In the 12th century, this custom was brought to China and applied with an Eastern sense of beauty and appreciation. Constructed from earthy hard woods, the chairs' structure was constructed and joined ingeniously (they did not use glue or nails), and the shape was gracefully curved.
Loving detail was put into carvings in the legs, and symbolism was portrayed prominently; through engraved characters on the backs, and stunning lacquers.
The armchairs you find here are replications of these old antiques. The techniques used to construct them remain the same however, and have been handed down for generations with only slight variations in design.
Our wooden Bar Stools are based on the classic Chinese farmers' stools found in the countryside.
They come at a maximum of 32” in height and can be cut down to 20” high.
Each bar stool is constructed from solid elm wood, and is coated in black or red lacquer (both finishes feature our signature distressed edging). You can also choose an unfinished bar stool and choose from any of our available stains.
The concave design of the extra wide seat is both good looking and a pragmatic design feature making the bar stools very comfortable, especially in comparison to other hard topped stools (wooden, plastic, metal or otherwise).
Features of our Antique-style Chinese Chairs
- Made of elm wood.
- The shape, bold lacquer finishes, and decorative relief make these chairs truly dramatic.
- All chairs are available in pairs, while supplies last.
Chinese furniture is designed to emphasize the beauty of the wood grain. Pieces that are built with harmonious combinations of woods with vibrant grain are not lacquered or painted, a miniscule amount of varnish or wax is applied to emphasize the natural beauty of the material.
Other classic styles are based on bold lacquer finishes, the color of which bore symbolic significance. Many of our chairs feature red or black lacquer finishes - colors of polarity. Black symbolizes Yin: Death, earth, water, North, and even numbers. Red symbolizes Yang: life, sky, fire, South, and odd numbers.
But are they comfortable?
We are often asked how comfortable these solid wood chairs and benches are. While this is truly is a matter of preference, we are confident in saying that they are used by our staff every day and they get the "thumbs up". They get plenty of use around our dining table and our conference tables in our Toronto showroom.
Many of the chairs and benches feature a wicker inlay. Aside from being artistically appealing, wicker is a flexible material that greatly increases the comfort of a chair by distributing the weight on the seat.
Another technique for increasing the comfort of a solid wood chair is to contour the seat. Some of our chairs, like the Bar Stools have an extra wide contoured seat for increased comfort.