Chinese furniture: Folding Stool
The folding stool is thought to have been introduced to China during the second century AD, at which time the Han emperor Lingdi was recorded to have had a fondness for foreign curiosities, including the ‘foreign barbarian seat’ (huchuang). This term referred to the folding stool, which was commonly used by nomadic tribes in the more remote northern and western regions. Its use spread throughout China over the following centuries. It became a popular seat for rulers and dignitaries when traveling or cruising on a boat, and its lightweight portability made it especially suitable for officers on military campaigns. Travelers convenient carried them over the shoulder, and even today, men and women use them to relax by the street side or while fishing along a canal.
The folding stool is the same as the ancient huchuang style. The two legs have silver-inlaid hinges to pin the round-shaped wood members. They are convenient to carry when roaming about the mountains or for use on a boat. The gold-lacquered folding stools are unfit for use.