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Folding Roundback Armchair

Posted on by Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Roundback Armchair 98.80.3 BIGFolding Roundback Armchair, late 16th century, Gift of Ruth and Bruce Dayton, 98.80.3

One of the oldest in existence, this folding chair has been called a “drawing in space.” Its elegant design combines the opposing forces of pulling and pushing to support weight. Reserved for persons of high rank, folding chairs were used as portable thrones for emperors. They represent the high point of the Chinese hardwood furniture tradition—which used neither glue nor nails.

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