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Antler Armchair

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Period: Kangxi reign (1662-1722), Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Medium: antler
Dimensions: overall height: 131 cm, width: 92 cm, depth: 76.5 cm

This armchair has two antlers holding a wooden splat as its back. Two larger antlers, the base of which are connected by a fragment of the skull, form curved arm rests. The solid board seat of the chair is made of Huanghuali rosewood, while its front and side edges are slightly concave. The four edges are covered with ox horn and inlaid with an ivory bowstring. On the chair seat, bones in design of interlocking clouds support the antlers. Four antlers comprise the legs. The wooden footstool is supported by horns of baby deer.   
  The craftsmen successfully arranged antlers and kept their natural form to meet the chair's function, which displays their high artistic taste and creative ability. A new kind of furniture reflecting Manchu taste, the antler armchair only appeared in the Qing dynasty. On the splat is the Qianlong Emperor's (r. 1736-1795) poetic inscription in official script (li shu), which was composed in the thirty-seventh year of the Qianlong era (1772). The poem tells that the antlers are from deer hunted by his grandfather the Kangxi Emperor (r. 1622-1722).

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