Antique Garden Stool with Pierce-work Designs, China (16780ZLSE) $1400


H: 19″  W: 13.25”  D: 11.75” | FOR SHIPPING INFORMATION CONTACT US AT 213-568-3030

This magnificent  glazed stoneware garden stool was owned by a wealthy family that is reflected in its complex pierce-work and its use of cobalt blue, a prized mineral color normally used very sparingly. Its strong hexagonal walls are decorated with registers of varied heights running vertically up the sides and divided by horizontal cobalt blue lines surrounding the stool. The designs depicted here – narcissus flowers, double lozenges and the octagonal shapes below are all Chinese auspicious symbols, homophones, and visual puns laden with meaning and wishes for continual good fortune, prosperity and wealth and the protective casting out of demons for the family to reach their goals and wishes for a good life. This pairs well with garden stool 16779.



The top design on this stoneware garden stool is a simplified open narcissus with a white and yellow center; it is a symbol of good fortune and prosperity. Below are intertwined double lozenges, followed on the lowest register of by white octagonal shapes and ending with a low orange-yellow rectangle pierced in the center. A lozenge (fangsheng or caisheng) is a homophone for victory (sheng) and a protective sign for casting out demons. It is also one of the Eight Treasures or Auspicious Objects (babao). The Chinese word for eight (ba) is a verbal pun for the word “expand” (fa), so the octagonal shape of the stool and the white octagonal designs are auspicious symbols meaning to “expand in wealth.”  The blooming flowers above the double lozenges also symbolize prosperity. Most Chinese antique garden stools were made in traditional drum or barrel shapes using common ceramic designs: decorative fretwork, low relief decorative objects, very simple pierced schemes, underglaze painted images, calligraphy and other design elements. Few were hexagonal with innovative piercings creating double designs on its positive and negative space. In addition to being decorative, pierced openings on stools reduced the likelihood of defects caused by excess heat during firing in kilns, increasing production costs greatly. Openings and cutouts also ensured airflow through objects to allow natural and faster cooling after firing and make seats more comfortable, especially in summer heat. Stool tops were normally convex and often included a cutout on top allow cooling and water drainage and prevent pooling. There are many reproductions and contemporary garden stools but antiques like this in excellent condition have glaze drips, wear consistent with age and use and minimally faded colors but are often heavier and well-built with more ornate design details

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Additional information

Place of Origin



Early 19th century


Antique, Qing Dynasty

Dimensions (inches)

: Ht: 19” W: 13.25" D: 11.75”

Dimensions (metric)

: Ht: 48.26cm W: 33.65cm D: 29.84cm

Materials and Technique



weight 19 lbs 2oz


Very good, patina and wear consistent with age and use

Reference Number


Shipping Box Size