One of a Pair of Chair Strips with Auspicious Patterns

Period: Qing dynasty (1644–1911)

Date: 18th century

Culture: China

Medium: Tapestry-woven (kesi) silk and metallic thread

Dimensions: Overall: 64 x 19 in. (162.6 x 48.3 cm)

Classification: Textiles-Tapestries

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1965

Accession Number: 65.210.1


Unlike upholstered furniture in the West, chairs in China were, historically, covered only temporarily with textiles. These chair strips (see also 65.210.2) were designed and woven specifically for the purpose. As is typical of such strips, the length is divided into multiple segments, each bearing a different design for the part of the chair it covers—the front legs, seat, or back—as well as a short segment that hangs
behind the chair.

This pair of auspiciously patterned chair strips was appropriate for special occasions such as birthday celebrations. Peaches (symbols of immortality) and the character for longevity (shou) decorate the segment behind the chair, and the front legs are covered with a pattern of pavilions in the sea, which probably refers to the isles of the immortals.