Chinese Wedding Sedan Chair Circa 1880
AGE: – Circa 1880s
CONSTRUCTION: – Wood
HEIGHT: – More than 2 metres, Panels separate pieces
DEPTH: – 109cm from front to back
WEIGHT:– Very Heavy
#400 – PRICE: CONTACT
Decorative Chinese Wedding Sedan Chair Circa 1880 decorated with figures depicting scenes from daily life. Originally called “Jiaoyu” (meaning shoulder carriage in Chinese). A sedan chair such as this was used before the introduction of modern vehicles to carry the bride to the home of the groom for the wedding ceremony.
Traditionally the groom bearing gifts to the bride’s home would lead the procession from the bride’s home accompanied by attendants and musicians to the sounds of drums, gongs, firecrackers, and other loud musical instruments. The groom customarily would be accompanied by a child as a good omen, hopeful that his bride will bear many sons during their marriage.
Sedan chairs were also used as a mode of transport during those early days in China as well as many other countries in Europe and the middle east.
A wedding chair used to carry the bride was traditionally coloured red. The decoration was dependent on the wealth of the family, the wealthier the family the more decorative the wedding chair.
Chinese Wedding Sedan Chair throughout history
Historically the precursor of the sedan chair such as this one appeared way back in the Xia Dynasty, it was referred to as a “shoulder carriage”. The scene of Emperor Cheng of the Western Han Dynasty riding in a shoulder carriage was featured in the painting Admonitions of the “Instructress to the Palace Ladies”, a Chinese narrative painting on silk, that is traditionally ascribed to (Nvshi Zhentu) by the great Jin-Dynasty artist Gu Kaizhi.
The scene of Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty riding in a sedan is also featured in the painting Imperial Carriage (Bunian Tu) by the painting master Yan Liben of the Tang Dynasty. However, during the Tang dynasty, the sedan chair was not the most popular method of transport. During the Song Dynasty, the sedan chairs were popularized and served as the most popular method of transport.
In the world-famous painting of the Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival, in this painting, there is an abundance of sedan chairs similar in style seen in the streets of the capital city of Bianliang during the Northern Song Dynasty. This particular sedan chair was built on the same principles as those built during the Song Dynasty. In the Ming and Qing Dynasties, four to eight people carried the sedan chair on strong heavy poles which were threaded through a hole on each side.
Sedan chairs commonly used by people during those times were fitted with coloured curtains for privacy.