Another fine example of a folding horseshoeback armchair is the chair formerly in the collections of Mr. Frederic Mueller and the Museum of Classical Chinese Furniture, illustrated by R.H. Ellsworth, Chinese Furniture, New York, 1971, p. 88, col. pl. 26, and sold at Christie's New York, 29 November 1990, lot 395. A related folding chair carved with the 'Three Friends of Winter' on the splat was sold at Sotheby's New York, 19 March 2007, lot 312. Wu Tung, 'From Imported 'Nomadic Seat' to Chinese Folding Armchair', Journal of the Classical Chinese Furniture Society, Spring 1993, p. 38, fig. 1, illustrates a pair of similar folding chairs in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which have splats carved with a landscape. This design is repeated on another folding chair in the Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena. A folding chair in the Palace Museum, Beijing decorated on the splat with a simple ruyi design is illustrated in Furniture of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (II), The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, 2002, p. 28, no. 14.
Also included in this group are three brass-mounted folding armchairs featuring qilin on the splats. One with a carved pierced central splat depicting a qilin amidst scrolling clouds, was formerly in the collections of Mrs. Rafi Mottahedeh and John W. Gruber, sold at Christie's New York, 16 September 1998, lot 32. The second, formerly belonging to Wang Shixiang and now at the Shanghai Museum, is illustrated on the cover of Chinese Furniture: Selected Articles from Orientations 1984-1999, Hong Kong, 1999. The other was sold at Christie's New York, 21 March 2002, lot 24.
Six known huanghuali round-back folding chairs are thought to originate from the same workshop, due to their similar proportions and distinctive silver-inlaid iron fittings. See S. Handler, 'The Folding Armchair, An Elegant Vagabond', Austere Luminosity of Chinese Classical Furniture, Berkeley, 2001, ch. 5, pp. 60-71; and R.D. Jacobsen and N. Grindley, Classical Chinese Furniture in the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, Minneapolis, 1999, p. 56.
Three other chairs in the group come from a set, and have a small dragon medallion carved on the splat. One of the three was formerly in the Chen Mengjia collection, Beijing, and illustrated by Wang Shixiang, Classic Chinese Furniture, Hong Kong, 1986, p. 57. The second is in the Palace Museum, Beijing, and illustrated in Zhongguo meishu quanji; gongyi meishu bian; zhumu ya jiao qu, Beijing, 1988, vol. 11, p. 127. The third, sold by Sotheby's New York, 18 September 1996, lot 311, is now in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and illustrated by R.D. Jacobsen, op. cit., p. 57, no. 11.
The remaining damascened horseshoeback armchair was sold at Christie's New York, 16 October 2001, lot 254.
For a more general discussion on the role of the folding armchair within the context of Chinese furniture history, see L.H. Stowe, 'The Chair in China', JCCFS, Spring 1991, p. 60, fig. 24.