Funerary Sedan Chair
On View: Asian Galleries, South, 2nd floor
This miniature sedan had long poles running through the holes in the base so it could be carried on the shoulders of footmen. It mimics the style and shape of palanquins used for transport of aristocratic women, but its small size indicates that it was used in funeral processions. It would have held an inscribed tablet believed to represent the spirit of the deceased. The tablet accompanied the coffin to the burial site, then was taken to the family ancestral shrine, where it was installed and worshipped regularly by surviving family members. As funeral rites became simpler in modern times, these miniature palanquins fell out of favor. Today they are extremely rare.
Wood, metal, paper
34 1/2 x 20 1/2 x 25 1/4 in. (87.6 x 52.1 x 64.1 cm) (show scale)
Designated Purchase Fund
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Funerary Sedan Chair, 19th century. Wood, metal, paper, 34 1/2 x 20 1/2 x 25 1/4 in. (87.6 x 52.1 x 64.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Designated Purchase Fund, 85.224. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 85.224_front_doors_closed_PS9.jpg)
closed, 85.224_front_doors_closed_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
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