About This Artwork


Royal Chair (Asipim), Late 19th/early 20th century

Wood, brass, and leather
66.3 x 37.4 x 47 cm (26 1/8 x 14 3/4 x 18 1/2 in.)

Gift of Marshall Field, 1998.158

Within Asante society, asipim chairs signal the power and prestige of chiefs, who have the unique right to use them. The asipim’s low profile reflects the Asante preference for stools as seats of honor, while its shape and the decorative use of brass tacks, knobs, and finials document the assimilation of European forms and materials in the 18th and 19th centuries. The finely delineated motifs pressed into the brass covering the back of this chair refer to the owner’s status.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Publication History

Kathleen Bickford Berzock, "African Art at the Art Institute of Chicago," African Arts, vol. 32, no. 4 (Winter 1999), pp. 18-35; 21 (ill.).

Ownership History

Unnamed owner, New York, N.Y., by 1998; sold to Mr. Marshall Field, Chicago, Ill, 1998; given to the Art Institute, 1998.

Interpretive Resources

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