Studio Oliver Gustav

Oliver Gustav shares advice on the great furniture of old China - illustrated with standout pictures and products from our very own catalogue. Furthermore you get advice on the best home decorating interior design from ancient times.

What is a chinese chair?

The chinese chair is a part of the classical chinese furniture, which refers to a variety of chairs, stools and more made during the Ming and Qing dynasties back in the late 14th century up to the 20th century. The best determining factors of value are materials, age and condition.

The antique chinese chairs has become a more common and contemporary part of the Western interior during the last decades. The chairs have a slender silhouette and graceful proportions, and combined with the yoke-back style, the chairs bring both an elegant and practical part of history into classy homes all over the world.

In the country of China the chair is well known as the “official’s hat”. This is because the chair has a shape of the crest rail. Other places it is also known as a lamp-hanger chair which originates from a ladder like structure used to hanging lamps in the homes of China.


Chinese arm chairs


Chinese chairs are more popular than ever

During the years the chinese chairs has become more popular than ever. Especially in homes with a classy look and where elegance is prefered these chairs decorates homes all over the world.

In the modern Western world old interior design furniture seems more integrated than ever. The combination of old and new gives homes a dynamic atmosphere. It is just about finding your very own combination of style.


chinese chairs
Pictures of authentic Chinese chairs from the 18th century. Find them in Oliver Gustav’s Copenhagen Studio.

A chinese chair makeover

One of the many key attributes of the yoke-back chairs is the very design of the stretches - stretches that gives support to the legs. Looking at antique Chinese general design, the stretches are stepped up. This makes one higher than the other.

The wide center splat of the yoke-chair gives a more visible attribute. This is the vertical back support between the seat and the crest rail and is an innovation in chairs design which has led to the Western throne-like back. Back long ago in the 16th century, some Chinese yoke-back chairs were sent as a gift to the Spanish King Philip II. This seems to have been a direct inspiration to the Queen Anne style chairs that you see in Western homes.


chinese stools
Authentic Chinese stools from the 18th century. Find them in Oliver Gustav’s Copenhagen Studio.

Materials of the Chinese furniture

The classic furniture is often made from both soft and hard woods and can sometimes also be found in bamboo. With both difference in materials and condition, the price between similar looking pieces can amount a lot even though it’s from the same time period - more than thousands of dollars. This is a result of a very material-driven market in furniture. Therefore it is very precious to find chairs, which both have a great condition and the right materials.

Find your own vintage chinese chair

Even though these great chairs rises in value or you want to let your children inherit it, it is all up to you to decide if it fits in your home. Many of the Chinese chairs are very pricy, but still there are affordable solutions for most people. Some chairs or stools goes for around 80-100.000$ but it is also possible to find Chinese furniture with materials for less than 10.000$. It all is a question of your taste and the enjoyment of collecting Chinese furniture.

Are you inspired? Take a look in our catalogue right here.

Written by OLIVER GUSTAV — June 11, 2018