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Classical Chinese furniture is closely related both aesthetically and technically to traditional Chinese architecture. The basic mortise and tenon system of joinery found in hardwood furniture is deeply rooted in the ancient tradition of architectural timber framing work.
Chinese furniture has ancient origins. A few, small examples of lacquer furniture have survived from Warring States (475-221 B.C.) and Han (206 B.C.-220 AD) tombs. During the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-589AD), possibly under Buddhist influence, the Chinese began to change from the habit of kneeling or sitting on mats or low platforms to sitting with legs pendent on stools and chairs. By the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127AD), the transformation to the use of tall tables and chairs made of soft wood seems to have been complete. The technically structured and multi-decorated Song furniture laid the foundation for the further development and perfection of Ming and Qing furniture. Classical furniture reached its zenith in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Each age was marked by its own distinctive artistic style.
Ming and Qing Furniture
With the importation of durable and beautiful Southeast Asian hardwoods during Ming, Chinese joinery techniques could be brought into a full play. Furniture of Ming and early Qing is characterized by simple, elegant structures with fluid lines, balanced proportions and concealed joints. Valued for their natural beauty, richly grains the hardwood furniture was only finished with only wax. Ming furniture is characterized by a simple and elegant structure with fluent lines and appropriate proportions. Qing furniture is larger and more imposing with elaborate carvings and inlaid decorations. These two types of furniture differed greatly in style but each reached a high level of artistic value and had a niche in the history of world furniture.
We can see from either existing Ming furniture of the paintings and woodcuts of that time that the furniture of the Ming Dynasty was rich in varieties and styles. It can be divided by function into six categories: stools and chairs; tables and desks; cabinets and chests; beds and couches; platforms and racks; and screens. At this time, the concept of furniture sets was formed, and complete sets of furniture appeared in hall, bedroom, and study, divided by the function of each space. They were usually arranged symmetrically, for instance one table with two chairs or four stools. Sometimes furniture was arranged freely in accordance with two chairs and four stools. Sometimes furniture was arranged freely in accordance with the size of the room and requirements of use.
In the early times of the Qing Dynasty, furniture followed and inherited the traditional styles of the Ming Dynasty, with no great changes in style or structure. But in the mid-17th century, the Qing economy began to resume and develop to a prosperous stage, flourishing during the reigns of Kangxi, Yongzheng, and Qianlong. Numerous royal gardens and buildings were constructed, and the private gardens of the nobles competed with each other for beauty. So the gaudy interior decorations were too much stressed on the furniture. The application of precise craftsmanship, along with the absorption of Ming Dynasty furniture structure gave Qing furniture a unique style and distinct form. As for structure, stress was laid on stability and impressive manner, and many new types of furniture appeared in the Qing Dynasty, such as the multifunction showcase, and folding and removable tables and chairs. In the Palace Museum in Beijing, we can find many pieces of furniture created with unparalleled skill.

Ming qing furniture chair Ming qing furniture desk
Chair
Desk
Ming qing furniture wardrobe
Ming qing furniture bed
Wardrobe
Bed

Beijing has classical Chinese furniture factories where you can choose what you want.

Chinese Jade Article and Jade Jewelry
Pearl
Cloisonne(Enamel)
Silk, Silk Embroidery, Brocade, Silk Rug and Tapestry
Chinese Inner Painting Snuff Bottles
Chinese Lacquer Ware
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese Tea and the Tea Set
Chinese Calligraphy work
Chinese Painting
Chinese Seal
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Chinese Paper-cut
Chinese Kite
Classical Chinese Furniture
Chinese Antique

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


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