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Fine JUMU Side Table

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Fine JUMU Side Table

Qing Dynasty, 19th Century
P R O V E N A N C E: Important private Macau collection
Long 216 cm, deep 36 cm, high 82 cm.

Fine JUMU Side Table, the wide and narrow rectangular top made from single piece of wood set above four drawers and supported above well proportioned straight legs of square section terminating in scroll feet, joined above with arched struts.

The best, fine and important Classical Chinese furniture woods

Adapted from Wang Shixiang’ s “Classic Chinese Furniture – Ming and Early Qing Dynasties”, published by Joint Publishing (H.K.) Co., Ltd.

One important reason why Ming and early Qing furniture is of such high quality is that it was fashioned from hard, dense woods of good color and beautiful grain. Here we discussed a few main furniture woods: huanghuali, zitan, jichi, ju, tieli.

JU (JUMU) wood

Ju wood furniture can be found in towns and villages all over China. Ju wood is known in north China as southern elm. It is harder than most woods although it is not exactly a hardwood. It plays an important role in Ming and early Qing furniture. Some pieces were made identical to huanghuali wood pieces in form, style and craftsmanship. It is evident therefore that cabinetmakers and true connoisseurs of Chinese furniture greatly valued them, believing that their aesthetic and historical merits should not be downgraded simply because they were made from somewhat inferior wood.

The scientific name of the ju genus is Zelkova. The species found in Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces is a large-leaf elm. Its wood is hard and dense, with a beautiful color and grain suggesting mountains piled upon mountains, called pagoda pattern by Suzhou cabinetmakers.


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