As a brief Introduction to Chinese furniture history, we can start saying that mainly, Chinese furniture can be divided into a few groups according to specific characteristics all related to the nowadays market prices:
The Classical Chinese Furniture‘s group includes pieces from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties.
Historical documents demonstrate that pre-Ming furniture-making was already well developed both in skill and design, but very little has survived.As in Wang Shixiang’s words, “it is only from Ming and early Qing times that pieces of furniture of high quality material and craftsmanship have been preserved from the large numbers that were made”.Ming and early Qing times are considered the Golden Age of Chinese furniture; pieces from this period are high-valued antiques and today is quite hard to find any.
It is necessary to be a connoisseur to recognize and collect such pieces.
The Qianlong reign period (1736-1795) marks the beginning of the decadence in the tradition of fine furniture; still, because of its shortness and the first appearance of overly elaborate pieces (typical Qing furniture), furniture from this period is considered of excellent quality, attract high value and are extremely sort after. In the latter part of the Qing Dynasty, Classical Furniture became just a shadow of the ancient tradition and lost the beauty of simplicity.
We wanted to start this section with a sentence like: “You won’t find such a definition in any books”; but, as a matter of fact you can find one in Kai Yin Lo’s book “Classical and Vernacular Chinese Furniture in the Living Environment”. These categories can be defined in different ways, what we intend here is to define a specific group of Chinese furniture that is strictly related to place of origin and the daily lifestyles of the people that used them. This kind of furniture has popular origins and differs from place to place; most of it was copied following the Classical Furniture models but all of such pieces were made out of cheaper and lower-quality wood. Their age vary between a range of time that goes from sixty to one hundred and more years ago.
Today, this group of furniture is the most common one in the market; you can find pieces from Tianjin to Ningbo; from Shanxi to Tibet, all with their specific characteristics which can vary from town to town and from region to region. Because it was handmade following the traditional patterns and joinery techniques, the Vernacular furniture is highly appreciated by foreign buyers, but still it does not have a good market among Chinese people who care more about the quality of the wood and want to leave behind the rural past it represents.
Reproductions are perfect imitations made nowadays by Chinese carpenters in the style of the Classical Ming and Qing Dynasties’ furniture. Under request they can be modified or changed into something totally new.
The material used for these reproductions can be selected among the whole range of tropical and strictly Chinese woods, even the age of the wood itself, to some extent, can be chosen.
Recent Historical Pieces differ from Vernacular Furniture in so much as they are strictly related to specific periods of China’s modern history. The first of these periods is the Republic of China (1912-1949) or, in chinese, Minguo. Minguo furniture has a strong western influence and is thus also known as Chinese Colonial style.
The Cultural Revolution is another of these periods; even though furniture from this time are honestly ugly and of low quality, it nonetheless documents a particular piece of China’s history
I hope you have been doing well. I am inquiring about a new shipment. We have several inventory numbers that we would like to know prices and stock availability: in fact your services and furniture have been of great value for us !
Our company was looking for old chinese furniture suppliers for the Spanish market
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Thanks Claudio for all your work.
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Yes! I have received the furniture. I am in the process of reviewing: so far everything looks great. I have an auction this weekend that I have been preparing for and will continue to look at the items the rest of the week.
Please keep sending photos and I will send u an update the beginning of next week after I have cleared out the auction.
Hi Claudio how are you? Thank you for email me, just to let you know that your furniture was really successful here and we are planning to go back to Beijing in the next few months, we would like to have more than one container this time but we are thinking to buy a lot of stones as well, so if this is ok with you, we will let you know exactly when we will be there.
Take care Claudio, say hi to Mr. Lee