Chinese antique furniture

Chinese antique furniture
Classic Ming-style furniture

The Chinese antique furniture is one kinds of traditional Chinese furniture with oriental style. The Chinese antique furniture is different in classic Chinese furniture which is made in hardwood, The Chinese antique furniture is made in softwood and is an outstanding representative of the Chinese arts too.


History of Furniture

Following the Chinese lifestyle and cultural and economic changes, The development of Chinese antique furniture went from the simple to the intricate, from the mat level to become taller in height.

The basic types, structure, decoration and craftmanship of furniture were established during the Song dynasties.

The development of Chinese antique furniture peaked during the Ming dynasty, as Ming furniture features simple, smooth, and flowing lines, and plain and elegant ornamentation.

Softwood of Furniture

There are many types of softwood that can be used in making a piece of Chinese antique furniture, the followings are very popular.

  • Elm, it is also called Yumu (Pinyin).
  • Camphor, it is also called Zhangmu (Pinyin).
  • Beech, it is also called Jumu (Pinyin).
  • Fir, it is also called Shanmu (Pinyin).
  • Cypress, it is also called Baimu (Pinyin).
  • Walnut, it is also called Hetaomu (Pinyin).
  • Pine, it is also called Songmu (Pinyin).
  • Oak, it is also called Xiangmu (Pinyin).

Joints of Furniture

It is the most important feature for a piece of Chinese antique furniture, the most joints were developed well in Song dynasty, such as miter, mortise-and-tenon as well as dovetail.

Types of Furniture

By Ming dynasty, there were a full range of furniture types and designs:

  • Beds
  • Cabinets and bookshelves
  • Chinese Room Divider
  • Chairs
  • Stools and Benchs
  • Desk and Table
  • Doors, Windows and Screens
  • Household accessories

Regional Differences

There were the following famous regional style furniture:

  • Beijing style
  • Suzhou style or Jiangsu style
  • Canton style or Guangzhou style
  • Sahnxi style or Jin style


1. Ecke, G. "Chinese Domestic Furniture in Photographs and Measured Drawings" ppXV-XXXIII, Dover Publications, Inc., 1986

2. Chinese Furniture

3. Chinese Antique Furniture Culture

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