Rounded furniture forms were especially popular during the Ming dynasty. As a stylistic concept roundness and wholeness (yuanhun) suggest organic unity. Unfortunately, because curvilinear components are easily broken, few of these lovely objects have survived the vicissitudes of time.

Round stools include those with ‘bulging-legs’, ‘cabriole-legs’, ‘drum-shaped‘, and straight-leg types. Such stools exhibit sophisticated construction, as the craftsman is no longer working with familiar right angles, requiring mastery in the calculation of circular and curvilinear geometry, three dimensional visualization, as well as special techniques to securely unify the frame, legs and aprons with structural integrity.

The Chinese handle inflexible wood in such masterly fashion that, almost unaware, one receives the impression of design in a living medium.