This versatile and elegant form of seating has remained virtually unchanged for hundreds of years, and although separately attached footrests became relatively rare on chairs during the Ming dynasty, they were often retained for convenience on folding stools, which were more frequently moved about.
While quite rare, several similar huanghuali folding stools are known, although all appear to be smaller than the present stool. The closest example, of slightly smaller proportions to the current stool (21 5/8 in. high), but carved with scrolling vines rather than chilong on the upper horizontal members, was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 29 November 2012, lot 2008. Another example, also with triple-lozenge pattern on the foot rest, is illustrated by Robert H. Ellsworth in Chinese Furniture: One Hundred Examples from the Mimi and Raymond Hung Collection, New York, 1996, pp. 42-3, no. 1, where it is dated to the late Ming dynasty. See, also, the huanghuali folding stool in the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, illustrated by Robert D. Jacobsen and Nicholas Grindley in Classical Chinese Furniture, Minneapolis, 1999, pp. 36-7, no. 1.