Pressed Lacquered Headrest with Stand

c. 1850
W: 13.5" D: 4.5" H: 11.0"
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This extraordinary headrest made from lacquered hide in the Jiangxi region of China over 150 years ago calls to be touched. Its pliable design enabled contour comfort—quite luxurious for the time. Some scholars think the soft curve and height could comfortably support the head and neck while also preserving the intricate hairstyles of upper-class women. This resting position has darkened the surface and beautifully worn the lacquer with irregular patterning. Now elevated on a custom steel stand, what was once a simple functional object lives on as a piece of storied sculpture.

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