Antique Mandarin Ancestor on Horseshoe Chair, China (18061BEM)


This small fine quality piece depicts a modest ancestor figure as a Mandarin official seated  horseshoe chair on a raised pedestal emphasizing his importance wearing the traditional 5-button  long coat with a round collar, a plain round officials hat, and an undergarment extending to the top of his black shoes. He has a somewhat personalized oval-shaped tranquil face, a high forehead with curved painted brows, a hint of a smile on his pursed lips, and a triangular pigtail down his back.



Ancestor-figures like this portrayed as a Mandarin official were placed on a home altar along with other house gods and religious images to bring blessings of fu to the household. Mandarin-officials were lesser status public officials who acquired this rank by passing rigid exams. In the Qing dynasty this designation was considered so significant that families emphasize this status in their ancestral figures. Ancestor-figures a form of filial piety, and ancestor-worship was a cornerstone of Confucianism. This traditional Mandarin official has a serious expressions, sits on a horseshoe chair showing his status and wears compulsory officials-attire. After the Ming Dynasty fell (1644) the Manchus required Han government officials and those serving at court only to wear changsang style clothing considered formal dress for men – a 5-button Mandarin long coat with a round collar and official headwear, a qing guanmao, a woven hat with finial whose shape and color reflected official’s rank (missing in this image). This antique-Chinese-wood-carving has a somewhat personalized oval-shaped tranquil face, painted brows, a hint of a smile on his pursed lips, and a triangular pigtail down his back. The center of the chair’s rear rail was removed to provide access to the large cavity that had a flat cover bung, now missing, indicating it was consecrated. It is in very good condition with an aged patina and expected cracks, paint and lacquer losses, and chips.

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Additional information

Weight 3 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 9 × 6 in
Place of Origin



Antique, Qing Dynasty


18-19th Century

Materials and Technique

Wood, polychrome, lacquer

Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 8.5” W: 4” D:3.375”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 21.59cm W: 10.16cm D: 8.57cm


1 lb


Very good, patina and wear consistent with age and use

Reference Number


Shipping Box Size