Chinese Rosewood Furniture originally emerged in Ming Dynasty. The major shape of rosewood furniture is the symmetrical structure. Without any additional color technique, rosewood is elegant with its natural red color. Major techniques in Chinese rosewood furniture are carving, inlaying, shaping, etc…
The two major principles of making rosewood furniture are “no iron nail if possible” and “no glue if possible”. These two principles make it in a high collection value. The obvious Chinese civilization handicraft culture is the most attractive part for collectors of antique furniture.
Origins and historic development
Chinese rosewood furniture originated in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). With the world’s biggest and most powerful ocean-going fleet at that time, Zheng He made seven voyages to the West Seas. No territorial expansions were ever made, instead, the fleet brought silk and porcelain, China’s valuable specialties, to the Southeast Asian and South Asian countries. Homeward, rosewood, an abundant specialty in local regions, was bought in bulk to press the cabin. Later, the royal artisan found rosewood very good furniture materials, so they made pieces of rosewood furniture with elaborate carving and design. But only the nobles can use this valuable furniture.
Chinese rosewood furniture experienced a very rapid development in Ming Dynasty. More artistic elements and elegant design were added to the furniture. Ming Dynasty furniture, with its superb craftsmanship is still sought after by antique furniture collectors. The Beijing Imperial Palace Museum still preserves 7000 pieces of rosewood furniture, with the oldest dating back to Emperor Ming Xuanzong (1426-1435).
In Qing Dynasty, the royals from the Northeast minority group were passionate for majestic, luxury furniture. Chinese rosewood furniture had its golden age in Qing Dynasty, with a very high level in the gaudy, elaborate decorations and exquisite workmanship. Chinese rosewood furniture declined in the end of Qing Dynasty because of wars and social changes.
Types of Rosewood Furniture
According to the materials, rosewood furniture can be divided into three kinds:
► All parts rosewood furniture: all parts of the furniture are made of rosewood
Chinese Rosewood Furniture
► Major parts rosewood furniture: major parts that can be seen by eyes are made of rosewood. Inside parts or parts that could not seen by eyes will be made of deep color valuable hardwood or other high quality timber.
► Wrapped rosewood furniture: it is referred to the furniture that only the surface is made of rosewood so it called as the warped rosewood furniture. When purchasing this kind of furniture, the instruction should mark out the exact part that made of rosewood.
The growth speed of rosewood is very slowly, And the number of rosewood is less year by year, the all parts rosewood furniture will e more and more expensive.
With the improvement year by year, Chinese rosewood furniture now become more and more valuable with 5 advantages:
► Reasonable functioned design: the design is based on human body condition. For example: a rosewood chair is designed by calculating the angle of the back and the shape which may bring people safety feeling.
Chinese Rosewood Furniture
► Elegant feeling: rosewood furniture brings people an elegant and graceful feeling immediately, styles such as Ming Dynasty style, Qing dynasty style, French style, etc.
► Considerate structure: the design applied the mechanics theory. And the traditional Chinese rosewood furniture only can be made by hands. So the harmony of the structure and the art is a window to see the skill of the craft art man.
► Selecting material
► High collecting value: this kind of furniture has a large room in collecting field. It integrates function, appreciation, and collection into one.