RSS

Asian Taxi Bookends

17 Jun
Asian Taxi Bookends:  Stone carving of Chinese Sedan Chair.  Height 4.5 inches.  circa 1930.

Asian Taxi Bookends:  Stone carving of Chinese Sedan Chair.  Height 4.5 inches.  circa 1930.

These bookends show a lady, probably Chinese, being transported in an open sedan chair.  A variety of bookends from China were exported to the United States during the nineteen twenties and thirties, and some of these were pictured in  Bookend Revue, (Schiffer, 1996).  These are the first bookends we have ever seen which featured  a sedan chair or any other scene from modern China.  The bookends are further unique in that they are carved as mirror images, and the figures on each bookend match the figures on the other in very careful detail.

Sedan chairs have been used for hundreds of years in Europe and Asia.  Most of them were enclosed boxes that contained chairs within, in order to protect the riders, who were usually wealthy and sometimes aristocratic.  The open chair suggests that the lady passenger had somewhat lower status.

Chefoo-Mrs. Reese being carried in a sedan chair. Source: William H. Jackson, World's Transportation Commission photograph collection. Library of Congress.

Chefoo, China-Mrs. Reese being carried in a sedan chair. Source: William H. Jackson, World’s Transportation Commission photograph collection. Library of Congress.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 17, 2015 in Chinese

 

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply (moderated)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: