S O L D
Hardwood Low Cabinet
Qing Dynasty, China
JUMU – Ju wood
156.7 cm wide | 37.8 cm deep | 43.8 cm high
Hardwood Low Cabinet, of rectangular form with a series of drawers and cupboard drawers, above a carved gourd vine frieze.
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.
– Chinese furniture
The forms of Chinese furniture evolved along three distinct lineages which dates back to 1000 BC, based on frame and panel, yoke and rack (based on post and rail seen in architecture) and bamboo construction techniques. Chinese home furniture evolved independently of Western furniture into many similar forms including chairs, tables, stools, cabinets, beds and sofas.
Chinese furniture traditionally consisted of four distinct categories, all formed by the mid Qing dynasty, but each with its own unique characteristics.
- Beijing category (京式家具): characterized by its simple build, directly developed from Ming Dynasty furnitures.
- Guangzhou category (广式家具): incorporating western influence, formed in the 19th century. Characterized by the adoptation of the decrorative mounting of marble and the shells of shellfish.
- Shanghai category (海式家具): characterized by its decrorative sculpture and sculptured paint.
- Suzhou category (苏式家具): Opposite to the Beijing category, characterized by its elaborate decoration, developed from early Qing Dynasty furnitures.
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