I was reading over at Beijing Notebook about these translucent acrylic Chinese horseshoe chairs she saw at the Green T. House in Beijing. With clean and classic Ming style lines, these round backed chairs are a very updated idea on an extremely old concept. Very neat idea – probably not particularly easy to manufacture.
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.
I just came across this fascinating lecture by John Lawson Stoddard who was an American writer and lecturer who traveled the world in the mid to late 1800′s and gained popularity through his travel writings. In series 13 of his lectures upon visiting Canton, he describes the role of a Chinese barber and includes a picture in which can be seen a similar wooden barbers stool.
Occasionally we discovered in these streets an itinerant barber. These Chinese Figaros carry their outfits with them. First in importance comes a bamboo pole, which is the immemorial badge of their profession. To this is usually attached one solitary towel, – free to every customer. From one extremity of this pole hangs a small brass basin, together with a charcoal stove for heating water; the other end is balanced by a wooden cabinet, which serves the patient as a seat during the operation, and contains razors, lancets, tweezers, files, and other surgical instruments.
It matters not where one of these tonsorial artists practises his surgery.
In celebrating its 160th anniversary this September, Hong Kong department store Lane Crawford, has invited eight designers to redesign classic ming style chairs as part of its Heritage 160 exhibition currently on display in Hong Kong’s IFC mall. Designers for the Dynasty Revival exhibit include Tom Dixon, Michael Young, Jaime Hayón, Ilse Crawford, Barnaba Fornasetti, Qu Guangci, Lisa Whatmough and D.B Kim