Chinese Imperial Lacquer Chair

Chinese (Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period)
Date: 1736–1795
Maker: Chinese (Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period)
Dimensions: 37 1/2 H x 21 1/2 W x 17 1/4 D
Materials: Lacquer, brass, wood
Credit: Gift of Mary Taylor Moulton (Mrs. David C.) Hanrahan
Accession Number: 1945.15.133
The five-toed dragons carved into the back and seat of this chair indicate it was made for Emperor Qianlong since only emperors could display dragons with five toes. According to its history, the chair came from the New Imperial Summer Palace, built in the 1750s by Qianlong on the western edge of Beijing, where it still stands today. This chair and at least two others were taken from the palace in 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion.
The Hanrahans acquired one of the chairs from Spink & Son of London in October 1928 and the following year Lucien Hamilton Tyng, co-founder of General Gas and Electric Company, purchased the other two.