dragon chair | Ancient Chinese Culture

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Dragon Chair

Dragon chair is a special chair that was used only by the Emperor in ancient times. Made of wood, it is usually engraved with the pattern of dragon. Dragon had been the emblem of imperial power since ancient times, also symbolized that the people sitting on the chair had the sovereign rights.

Dragon chair’s history can date back to the period of Qin Dynasty (221BC~206BC). Qin Shihuang, the first Emperor of ancient China, was the first Emperor to sit on the chair.

In Chinese culture, the Emperors were regarded as the sons of Heaven, also called tianzi in Chinese. Therefore, dragon chair is placed facing south and when the Emperor was sitting on the chair, he could see the sunrise in the morning. That also showed the dignity of the imperial power.

The Dragon chair was often put in the chair room, in which the Emperor often met his ministers. The Emperor often received the foreign guests or dealt with national affairs sitting on the chair. Nowadays, these chairs are stored in the museums. Among them, the most famous one was the Beaulieu chair of Emperor Qianlong, which was made during the period of Qing Dynasty (1636~1911).

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