A Magnificent Carved Japanese Armchair, with Inset Ivory, c.1890/1910
While there are many low-back armchairs of similar design which show little or no age or quality, this is one of the finest examples of what the best should be. It is a carved masterpiece; (please enjoy the various close-ups below). Note the beautifully carved dragons and eagle, all with original ivory eyes. No spot is left undeveloped, including the back of the chair. The arms show natural wear to the surface, which reveals its age in part. The form of the legs are in the cabriole French taste and are nothing less than magnificently carved.
There are no breaks or alterations whatsoever. It is all original. From a comfort decorating point of view, this piece probably would have had a very nice deep drop-in cushion (usually in a red tone). Also, while this is an extremely exuberant chair, its scale is of a desirable small size.
Another well-developed example was offered for sale on eBay recently for $6,795. (See below for images.) However, the uninspired leg design in this example that seems to fall short of the ornate work elsewhere, and the lower back with less intricate development, show how our example shines above even those who are superior among this type of chair.
Height: 46 in. Seat Height: 18 in.
Width: 26 1/2 in. Depth: 22 in.
sw01828 - $17,500