Side chairs, or chairs without arms, appeared from the Song dynasty through the Qing dynasty with little change to the basic form. It is usually smaller than official’s hat chair, but with backrest and crest rail of similar style. Of all chairs, it was likely the most common type; however, because its form is less structural than those integrated with armrests, side chairs have survived in fewer number.
The traditional term ‘lamphanger chair’ (deng’gua yi) appears in Yongzheng period (1722-1735) texts, and is still in common use amongst Chinese. The term corresponds to the small chair-like oil-lamp racks that could be hung on a wall or placed on a table.