What Is A Chinese Chair: 4 Unique Features

Chinese furniture has taken a swoop across the world, leading people to ask what is a chinese chair. The variety of these chairs had made people think about the theme of their house interior.

These themes can vary from Western, Victorian, and the famous interior design for Chinese. The furniture that these motifs go with also differs. However, one style of furniture is prominent, and those are chairs.

Chinese chairs have been a topic of interest for many furniture enthusiasts. This type of chair has unique features that you can quickly identify among other chairs. Many designers had also used this type of chair to create more variations and modernized versions.


Explanation Of A Chinese Chair

Chinese chairs are known with many names, such as the yoke back chair and official hat chair. They are also known as lamp-hanger chairs. These chairs were built during the Ming and Qing dynasty, which is popular in modern times.

These chairs are characterized by their vast and square-shaped seat pans and grand appearances. Some have arm rails and curves on them.

The Chinese chairs vary in size and also have different kinds depending on their features. These features unique on every type of chair are favored by specific sectors of the Chinese societal hierarchy like government officials and scholars.

The Ming dynasty is known as the golden era of classic Chinese furniture. These traditional designs are unrivaled from the other generations. However, there are many improvements made with this variant as time goes on.

As depicted traditionally, people in China didn’t sit readily on chairs. Chairs were invented in the Jin dynasty when people started to sit gradually on higher platforms.

The official hat chairs, in particular, are found in the main hall and used by the elder members of the household. Smaller chairs are sat down by the guests and other members of the family.

The dynasties of China continued to grow until the Ming dynasty. Royalties are gifted with chairs of high value, full of decorations and intricate structures.

Sooner, the Western civilization began to know about Chinese chairs when one pair of these yoke-back chairs were gifted to King Philip II. This event led to the Europeans innovating the chair with a broader back.

Chinese chairs give elegant vibes which go with western home designs. The chairs also pave the way in knowing how rich Asian history was.

Original Chinese chairs that lead back from the earliest dynasties still exist today due to the chair’s durability. However, you might have to prepare a considerable amount of money to own one.


What Are The Features Of Chinese Furniture?

What makes Chinese chairs unique? Maybe you’ve asked yourself that question too. Well, this beautiful type of chair has special features that you’d surely want to experience and see for yourself.


1. Mortise-and-tenon structure

This characteristic is prominent in ancient Chinese furniture. It is done by combining pieces of wood without the use of nails and a hammer. The woods are fitted into each other as if they are jigsaw pieces.

Specifically, this method refers to slicing the wood in a concave-convex splice. Doing this doesn’t require glue usage, but there are cases where the adhesive is applied.


2. Small-structure splicing

This method was adopted in the development of chairs in the Ming dynasty. Refined scholars are the ones who developed this method which made Chinese chairs to be smooth and concise.


3. Use of lines

Chinese chairs, and also other types of Chinese furniture, are embedded with lines. The lines add to the aesthetic quality of the chairs’ visual effects.

These lines are considered as the bones of the Ming dynasty’s furniture. These precise and perfect lines have everlasting beauty that stands out through time.


4. Variety between eras

Since the invention of chairs in the Jin dynasty, their qualities have also varied. These variations became a basis for people to know what dynasty a specific Chinese chair belonged to. It also affects the price and options for customers to choose from.

The most famous styles from different eras are Ming-style, Guangzhou-style, and Beijing-style. These eras incorporated other techniques to preserve the beauty and tradition of the favorite Chinese chair we know today.


The China Chair

Chinese chairs have become an inspiration to many designs across the world. One designer named Hans J. Wegner was inspired by its design and began to recreate his own version of a Chinese chair.

He called his design the China Chair. The chair takes influence from the ancient structures of China back in the 17th and 18th centuries mixed with Wegner’s modern interpretation.

Hans J. Wegner explored his skills and the limits of wood in creating this chair. This chair is available on many online shopping sites.



Knowing what is a Chinese chair takes you to the advantage of becoming aware of its existence. A chair is essential in every furniture set, which you can never overlook.

Chinese chairs gave inspiration to many chair designs we can see. These chairs’ timeless beauty is worth studying for, aside from their durability and stable condition. You never know, maybe you’ll buy or design one for yourself too!

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