Red Lacquer Hide Headrest

c. 1850
$1,485 $1,980 USD
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W: 13.0" D: 6.0" H: 10.0"
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Crafted of painted, lacquered hide, this extraordinary headrest was created in China's Jiangxi province over 150 years ago. Its pliable design enabled contour comfort - quite luxurious for the time. Some scholars think the soft curve and height was intended to comfortably support the head and neck while preserving the intricate hairstyles of upper-class women. Paintings of auspicious creatures mid-flight adorn each end of the headrest, a dragon at one end and a phoenix on the other. Elevated by a custom steel mount, the headrest becomes a storied work of sculpture.

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Headrests and neck pillows have been used since ancient times to keep the head elevated while sleeping and hold the body in a comfortable position. Whether functional or purely decorative, such headrests were crafted from a variety of materials and were often decorated with elaborate patterns or symbolic motifs.


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