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Chinese Antique Furniture descriptions

Ancient Chinese furniture has a fine reputation in modern China and the West
alike, Chinese ancient furniture features profound cultural facts and superb
craftsmanship. The furniture was mostly made from precious wood, in the Ming
(1368-1644) and Qing (1616-1911) dynasties. It is widely recognized as the best,
because furniture before the Ming Dynasty did not survive wars and time,
traditional Chinese furniture craftsmanship did not reach its zenith until the
Ming Dynasty. It reached a high level of aesthetic success and could even claim
a place in the history of world furniture.
Chinese furniture was usually lacquered red or black and then painted, and often
carved and sometimes inlaid with other materials such as precious stones,
etc.Ming Dynasty funiture is known for its simplicity with sparse lines and
little decoration while Qing furniture emphasizes detail and extravagance.
Furniture from southern China tends to be very elaborate whereas northern
furniture is big, heavy and grand.
Ming Dynasty Furniture: Ming furniture is simple with sparse lines and little
decoration. It usually features fine and durable precious woods, such as
mahogany, sandalwood, rose wood etc. In the Ming Dynasty, the demand for fine
furniture, the ample supply of wood and the highly developed tenon-mortise
technology all facilitated the success of the Ming furniture. Craftsmen of the
Ming Dynasty used the succinct language of art to express their inner feelings,
and combined ingeniously with the beauty of simplicity and quietness. So the
Ming furniture usually has simple structures, unique shapes and minimal
decorations which would reserve the natural beauty of the wood. Lines were
ingeniously applied to emphasize details such as the back of an armchair and the
legs and resting bars of chairs and tables. Main emphasis was placed on the
application of the natural beauty of the wood texture and adopting latticework
and openwork carving. On eye-striking places such as the backs of armchairs,
there would be simple patterns by relief engraving or openwork carving.
Qing Dynasty Furniture: In the early Qing Dynasty, furniture inherited
characteristics of the Ming Dynasty, from the reign of Emperor Yongzheng to
Emperor Jiaqing. After political power as stabilized and the economy improved,
people began to pay more attention to more material things in there lives, and
demanded decorative and luxurious furnishings, gaudiness and sumptuousness were
a basic features of Qing furniture which was usually heavy and sizable,
featuring exquisitely carved patterns. Some pieces were carved from head to foot
and had inlays of stone, mother-of-pearl, porcelain, metal, and enamel. Qing
furniture had curved decorations and exaggerated shapes that demanded attention.
Chinese traditional furniture has a strong aesthetic appeal due to its
apparently simple lines and the fact that it makes use of "natural materials"
such as the finest hardwoods-no fusty stuffed couches here. Ready comparisons
can be made to Danish furniture, with its sparse lines. With Chinese furniture,
you see what you get. Nothing is hidden, and the wood is polished, stained or
lacquered to evoke its natural earthiness and grainy patterns.Chinese furniture
reached a pinnacle of fine design and workmanship from the sixteenth centuries,
the later part of the Ming period. Fine furniture is characterized by restrained
and elegant designs and complex joinery that held the furniture together without
glue or nails.