This particular image was taken from Ralphrepo’s photo stream on flicker and it apparently comes from a book called “The Face Of China As Seen By Photographers & Travelers 1860-1912.” He has a much longer and interesting commentary with a snip in which the furniture itself is mentioned. “Socially, the furniture belies a family of some affluence. The wooden foot stools at the time were used not for the height challenged but rather to provide insulation against having to put one’s feet onto a cold and unheated floor.”
This stereoview image also comes from Flickr, this time from Wolfgang Wiggers photostream. It was taken Guangzhou in the 1860’ies (more commonly known at that time as “canton”). Notice the gate leg or “drop-leaf” table seen in the center background
A bit of a gruesome image, this photo was taken in the early 1900’s during the boxer rebellion. Nevertheless it it shows a very common long bench and farm table in a typical environment. This particular one has been modified to suite modern use by shortening the depth. The inset stone panel is not original.
This image was found on a Chinese website and really needs no introduction…
Another unique, though not quite as gruesome image taken in 1900 and entitled “Chinese punishment: whipping a lawbreaker.” Notice the frame unit in which the prisoner is bent across? Though I would assume this piece was purpose built, it nevertheless suspiciously looks quite similar in form to the base of a Chinese standing screen. Or maybe a large stacking food box…
A work chest / toolbox from street vendor
An antique Chinese wooden barber’s stool. Does your hairdresser have one of these?
By the way, if you are interested in seeing more of these fascinating images, here are a few potential books:
A jewelry box sitting atop a high side table known as a “flower stand.”
A photo of a “heavenly wheelbarrow” (the caption on the back of the wheelbarrow says “Heavenly Wheelbarrow) taken in 1910 in or near Qingdao.