Chinese Furniture – A Private Collection

 

We have the unique opportunity to offer a German private collection of antique Chinese furniture from the Ming and Qing Dynasties exclusively.

 

A renowned German cardiologist and his art historian wife combined their keen interest in travelling and art to create this stunning collection of antique Chinese furniture. They fell in love with the beauty, artistry and craftsmanship of vernacular Chinese furniture, typically made from softwoods including walnut, elm and nanmu.

The focus of this collection is Ming and Qing Dynasty furniture from the greater Shanxi region of Northern China. The collection has various highlights, a Ming Dynasty Huanghuali wine table, a rare pair of 18th century walnut wine tables and set of four Ming Dynasty elm rose back chairs – just to name a few.

 

The Shanxi region in Northern China was an important trading and financial center during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Some merchants’ wealth even rivaled the Imperial court but their social status was low. Thus, they liked to display their wealth by building grand mansions as well as commissioning exquisite and unusual furnishings. This was a perfect framework for local carpenters and artisans to create beautiful and remarkable pieces of furniture, inspired yet not restricted the stringent aesthetics of classical hardwood furniture.   

Due to its geographical location, Shanxi was largely shielded from external influences and old customs and traditions survived into modern times. The dry climate helped to preserve much of the furniture whilst the abundance of coal provided an alternative source of fuel during the years of turmoil when many other Chinese regions resorted to burning their furniture.

 

We would like to invite you to follow us over the next weeks when we post pieces from this stunning collection on www.1stdibs.com and here (Inventory - Chinese Furniture).

 

For further reading on this topic, we suggest the following books:

 

  • Berliner, Nancy and Handler, Sarah: Friends of the house - Furniture from China’s towns and Villages, Peabody Essex Museum, 1995.

 

  • Evarts, Curtis: C.L. Ma Collection: Traditional Chinese Furniture from the Greater Shanxi Region, Hong Kong, C.L. Ma Furniture, 1999.

 

  • Lo, Kai-Yin: Classical and Vernacular Chinese Furniture in the Living Environment, Examples from the Kai-Yin Lo Collection, Hong Kong, Yungmingtang, 1998.

 

  • Wang, Shixiang: Connoisseurship of Chinese Furniture - 2 vols Hong Kong, Joint Publishing (H.K.) Co., Ltd., 1990.