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The historical culture and craftsmanship of mahogany furniture in Ming and Qing dynasties

by:Jinlon Furniture     2022-04-02
Ming and Qing furniture, because it can fully embody the designer's thoughts and emotions, embody the characteristics of the times, and is rich in special cultural and artistic connotations, it is hailed as the 'microcosm of beauty' in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Then, as an important piece of Ming and Qing furniture, what kind of historical connotation does mahogany furniture have? What is the craftsmanship of mahogany furniture in Ming and Qing dynasties? Today, we will take you to take a look at the history and origin of mahogany furniture, as well as the Ming and Qing Dynasty mahogany furniture. The origin of mahogany furniture in 1405 It is said that the origin of mahogany furniture can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty eunuch Zheng He's seven voyages to the West in 1405. Zheng He went to Vietnam, Indonesia, Java and Sumatra, Sri Lanka, India, and the east coast of Africa. He brought Chinese silk and porcelain, and he brought back mainly mahogany. Because mahogany has a heavy weight, it is just right for ballast. . In the Song, Yuan and early Ming, Chinese furniture used medium-hard materials such as elm, pine, beech, and phoebe, similar to the materials used in modern European and American furniture. Since Zheng He brought back mahogany woods such as huanghuali, wenge wood, and iron sword wood, some skilled craftsmen have used these hard, fine, and well-textured mahogany woods to create furniture that is stronger, more beautiful, and more practical than the previous generations. , The furniture manufacturing industry in Ming and Qing dynasties thus prospered unprecedentedly. According to research, Zheng He's voyages to the West also promoted the formation of the regional style of mahogany furniture in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Suzhou was originally the anchorage of Zheng He’s seven voyages to the West, and the mahogany was also landed from Suzhou. From the hand-held furniture and documentary records, it can be seen that the birth and development of Ming-style furniture centered on Suzhou. By the early Qing Dynasty, Ming-style hardwood Furniture is produced in many places in China, but only Suzhou's style characteristics and craftsmanship have the most heritage and reputation. The history and culture of Ming and Qing mahogany furniture has been deeply loved by people since the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Mahogany originated in the Ming Dynasty in 1405. Zheng He went to the West seven times. Each time he returned to China, he used mahogany to press the cabin. The carpenters brought back the hard, delicate and grained mahogany to make furniture and handicrafts for the emperors to enjoy. A large amount of redwood was imported and the dynasty died before it flowed into and developed into the people. 'Redwood' does not generally refer to all red woods, nor is it a kind of wood, but the current common name for mahogany timbers in China. According to the definition of national standards, its scope is five categories and eight categories. Five genera: Pterocarpus spp, Dalbergia spp, Diospyros spp., Pterocarpus spp., Tielia spp. Mahogany furniture has experienced three historical stages: Ming-style furniture, Qing-style furniture, and late Qing Dynasty furniture, reflecting the artistic style and characteristics of different periods. Ming-style furniture is dominated by huanghuali wood, followed by red sandalwood, beech and phoebe. There are also a considerable number of carved lacquer, color lacquer and large lacquer inlaid Luotian furniture. The production areas mainly include wooden furniture in Suzhou, carved lacquer and color lacquer furniture in Beijing, and black lacquer inlaid snail furniture in Shanxi. The artistic level is very high. Qing-style furniture is dominated by red sandalwood, followed by Huanghuali wood, rosewood, rosewood, etc., and lacquered furniture also accounts for a considerable number. In addition, there are some foreign furniture, most of which are Japanese furniture. The furniture of the Qing Dynasty is slightly inferior to the Ming style in terms of scientificity, but is higher than the Ming style in terms of decoration, thus forming a unique Qing style. The furniture in the late Qing Dynasty usually refers to the furniture made after the Daoguang Dynasty. The furniture is too rigid and bloated, and it can hardly talk about the special artistry. It is the result of excessive pursuit of complicated decoration and going to the extreme. As a kind of utensils, furniture is not just a simple daily necessities and furnishings. In addition to satisfying people's daily life, it also has rich cultural connotations. Through understanding the source, characteristics, style of palace furniture, the types of furniture, the relationship between furniture and architecture. It can be seen that furniture is a comprehensive carrier of multiple arts. The decorative subject matter of furniture vividly reflects people's aesthetic taste, ideology, thinking mode and customs. In the furnishings and use of furniture, it has been closely integrated with the strict traditional rituals and customs and the concept of superiority and inferiority for several decades. At first, the use of furniture was mainly to worship gods and ancestors, and then gradually spread to daily life, but only limited to the powerful aristocratic class. The shape, texture, and decorative subject matter of furniture have strict grade and name boundaries. Further reading: Huanghuali, a furniture material used in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, explains the three rules of furniture craftsmanship in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The German scholar Gustav Ike summarized the three basic rules of mahogany furniture craftsmanship in the 'Chinese Rosewood Furniture Drawings': it is not absolutely necessary to use wooden dowels; where possible, do not use glue as much as possible; do not use anywhere. It is made of iron, that is, without any nails and adhesives. The obvious nationality in the shape and craftsmanship of mahogany furniture is the value of collection and investment. Mahogany furniture is called humanistic furniture and artistic furniture. Many so-called mahogany furniture are not made according to traditional craftsmanship, with strict proportions and mortise and tenon structures, but are glued and connected with metal. After five or six years, wood and metal will repel each other and separate. Many buyers now bring magnets to test mahogany furniture, because mahogany furniture made with sophisticated craftsmanship will not have nails.
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