Collectibles

At $8.5 million, this could be the world’s most expensive camping chair

At $8.5 million, this could be...
This 17th Century Chinese Folding Horseshoe-Back Jiaoyi sold for HKD$65,975,000 (US$8,502,370) at Christie’s Hong Kong on 28 May 2021
This 17th Century Chinese Folding Horseshoe-Back Jiaoyi sold for HKD$65,975,000 (US$8,502,370) at Christie’s Hong Kong on 28 May 2021
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This 17th Century Chinese Folding Horseshoe-Back Jiaoyi sold for HKD$65,975,000 (US$8,502,370) at Christie’s Hong Kong on 28 May 2021
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This 17th Century Chinese Folding Horseshoe-Back Jiaoyi sold for HKD$65,975,000 (US$8,502,370) at Christie’s Hong Kong on 28 May 2021
This 17th Century Chinese Folding Horseshoe-Back Jiaoyi sold for HKD$65,975,000 (US$8,502,370) at Christie’s Hong Kong on 28 May 2021
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This 17th Century Chinese Folding Horseshoe-Back Jiaoyi sold for HKD$65,975,000 (US$8,502,370) at Christie’s Hong Kong on 28 May 2021
This 17th Century Chinese Folding Horseshoe-Back Jiaoyi sold for HKD$65,975,000 (US$8,502,370) at Christie’s Hong Kong on 28 May 2021
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This 17th Century Chinese Folding Horseshoe-Back Jiaoyi sold for HKD$65,975,000 (US$8,502,370) at Christie’s Hong Kong on 28 May 2021
Three angles of the 17th Century Chinese Folding Horseshoe-Back Jiaoyi that sold for HKD$65,975,000 (US$8,502,370) at Christie’s Hong Kong on 28 May 2021
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Three angles of the 17th Century Chinese Folding Horseshoe-Back Jiaoyi that sold for HKD$65,975,000 (US$8,502,370) at Christie’s Hong Kong on 28 May 2021
The scale of the 17th Century Chinese Folding Horseshoe-Back Jiaoyi becomes evident once a human is in the picture
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The scale of the 17th Century Chinese Folding Horseshoe-Back Jiaoyi becomes evident once a human is in the picture
17th Century Chinese Folding Horseshoe-Back Jiaoyi
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17th Century Chinese Folding Horseshoe-Back Jiaoyi
Christie's Hong Kong sold the highest-priced Chinese Jiaoyi in history for HKD$65,975,000 (US$8,502,370) on 28 May 2021
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Christie's Hong Kong sold the highest-priced Chinese Jiaoyi in history for HKD$65,975,000 (US$8,502,370) on 28 May 2021
The Imperial Hunt of the Qing Dynasty was often the subject of paintings by Giuseppe Castiglione, the Italian Jesuit who served as a court painter to the Qianlong Emperor. This painting by Castiglione, entitled Deer Hunting Patrol, depicts the Royal entourage stretching many miles behind the front.
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The Imperial Hunt of the Qing Dynasty was often the subject of paintings by Giuseppe Castiglione, the Italian Jesuit who served as a court painter to the Qianlong Emperor. This painting by Castiglione, entitled Deer Hunting Patrol, depicts the Royal entourage stretching many miles behind the front.
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The world-record price for a camping chair more than doubled this week when Christie's Hong Kong sold a 17th Century Chinese Folding Horseshoe-Back Jiaoyi for HKD$65,975,000 (US$8,502,370), far exceeding the highest price previously fetched by a Chinese Jiaoyi of RMB27,370,000 (US$3,979,065) set by Poly Auction in Beijing in December 2018.

The Jiaoyi developed from the “huchang“ folding stools carried on horseback for millennia by the Mongols (in Chinese, “huchang” means “barbarian bed” – a hint at the lingering enmity between the two countries). But once introduced to China during the Han dynasty (206 BCE to 220 CE), they evolved to become an important identifier of rank that could be easily transported by the servants to allow their master to be comfortable in public meetings and on hunting trips.

The Imperial Hunt of the Qing Dynasty was often the subject of paintings by Giuseppe Castiglione, the Italian Jesuit who served as a court painter to the Qianlong Emperor. This painting by Castiglione, entitled Deer Hunting Patrol, depicts the Royal entourage stretching many miles behind the front.
The Imperial Hunt of the Qing Dynasty was often the subject of paintings by Giuseppe Castiglione, the Italian Jesuit who served as a court painter to the Qianlong Emperor. This painting by Castiglione, entitled Deer Hunting Patrol, depicts the Royal entourage stretching many miles behind the front.

The chairs were most famously carried when the emperor went on his annual hunting excursions, where his massive entourage of bodyguards, concubines and servants carrying all the things he might need while "in the wild" would often stretch for many miles. Thus, the Jiaoyi was also known as a "Hunter's chair."

References to such chairs have even become part of the Chinese language – the “first folding chair” (di yi ba jiaoyi) is a well-known Chinese saying and refers to the most honored seat in a public room.

Three angles of the 17th Century Chinese Folding Horseshoe-Back Jiaoyi that sold for HKD$65,975,000 (US$8,502,370) at Christie’s Hong Kong on 28 May 2021
Three angles of the 17th Century Chinese Folding Horseshoe-Back Jiaoyi that sold for HKD$65,975,000 (US$8,502,370) at Christie’s Hong Kong on 28 May 2021

The most ornate and prestigious Jiaoyi were the horseshoe-back design and the auctioned item is one of less than 100 extant that were designed for the aristocracy during the Qing and Ming Dynasties.

17th Century Chinese Folding Horseshoe-Back Jiaoyi
17th Century Chinese Folding Horseshoe-Back Jiaoyi

The $8.5-million chair is notable for its exceptionally handsome Qilin motif carved in relief. The Qqilin is an imperial symbol for prosperity and good fortune, corresponding to rank badges of the Ming (1368 to 1644 CE) and Qing (1644 to 1912 CE) dynasties. As decreed in 1391, badges featuring the Qilin were worn by dukes, marquises, earls, and sons-in-law of the emperor.

Source: Christie's

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4 comments
4 comments
Chris Coles
Wonder how long before copies are readily available.
paul314
Does it still fold?
Signguy
Sheesh, for a FOLDING CHAIR!
Kevin Ritchey
Sure beats the hell out of Trump’s Golden Toilet!