Chinese Furniture Woods

Chinese Furniture Woods

Chinese furniture uses many types of wood that are not only known by their Chinese names, but also share their Chinese names with several other types of wood, so confusion may easily result. The three most valued types of wood are huali, zitan, and jichimu.

Huanghuali A member of the rosewood family, huali is a tropical hardwood that grows in China with a wide range of hues, and whose Chinese [...] Click here to continue reading.


Chinese Dynastic Chronology

Chinese Dynastic Chronology

Note: In general, the p4A reference database uses the Pinyin naming convention system for Chinese Terminology. Where the name varies under the Wade-Giles system p4A will present that alternative in brackets. For example: Qing [or Ch'ing] Dynasty.

Neolithic Period, circa 6500 to 1700 BC

Xia Dynasty, circa 2100 to 1600 BC

Shang Dynasty, circa 1600 to 1100 BC

Zhou [or Chou] Dynasty, circa 1100 to 256 BC Western Zhou, circa 1100 [...] Click here to continue reading.


Meiji Period, Japan

The Japanese Meiji Period (1868-1911)

In 1867/68 the Tokugawa shogunate era came to an end with the restoration of imperial power to the emperor Meiji (died, 1912) and the transfer of the government from Kyoto to Tokyo. The actual political power was transferred from the Tokugawa Bakufu into the hands of a small group of nobles and former samurai.

Like other subjugated Asian nations, the Japanese were forced to sign unequal treaties with Western [...] Click here to continue reading.


Lipton, William

William Lipton: Dealer, Scholar, Collector

William Lipton’s first journey to Asia occurred in the early 1970′s. He was immediately seduced by the culture of the East, and arranged for a return the following year with Jim Thompson at the Thai Silk Company, where he remained for six years, ultimately as the director of design. During this period he traveled extensively throughout Asia, often accompanied and advised by the Hong Kong dealer Charlotte Horstmann.

“I [...] Click here to continue reading.


China Trade Trunks

China Trade Trunks

These trunks are often called Sea Captain’s Chests as they were commonly purchased in Canton or Hong Kong by sea captains engaged in the China trade during the nineteenth century. The captain’s used them for their own personal purchases in the Chinese port, particularly for their wives and family back in New England. For their time they could be real treasure chests, filled with rare silks, tea, blue and white porcelains, [...] Click here to continue reading.


Shaker Wood Band or Finger Boxes

Shaker Wood “Finger” Boxes

Small oval wood boxes were used throughout the nineteenth century to store foodstuffs in the pantry, ladies’ sewing accessories and notions and small collectibles in general. Many of these boxes were formed with sides from a single thin “band” of wood with shaped “fingers” at one end. These fingers overlapped the opposite end of the band to which they were joined with copper, iron or brass tacks, thus forming the [...] Click here to continue reading.


Ralph Raby Collection – Provenance

The Ralph Raby Collection

Ralph Raby is a direct descendant of the Chicago retail shoe magnates George and Joseph Bullock. The Bullocks were typical upper-class Victorians, with a sophisticated eye for fine furniture, art and decorations who traveled extensively throughout Europe. The majority of the Raby collection was assembled by the brothers and their wives in the 1870′s and 1880′s.

Their travels and philosophy were described by Mr. Raby for a 1984 Chicago Tribune [...] Click here to continue reading.


Arts & Crafts Movement

The Arts & Crafts Movement

The principles of the Arts and Crafts movement were initially frontiered in England through the efforts of John Ruskin and William Morris. Ruskin was not a craftsman but an academic scholar at Oxford. He believed passionately that the Industrial Revolution would erode the English countryside by turning it into factory fields while relegating the skilled English craftsman to the status of a laborer. The battle cry of his movement, [...] Click here to continue reading.


Stuffel, Gary & Karen Collection – Provenance Garths 8-29-08

Gary and Karen Stuffel of Washington, Indiana

Gary and Karen Stuffel loved the country life, and both loved the dream of living with early American antiques. Born in Daviess County, Indiana, they chose to settle in Washington where Gary worked as a union carpenter and Karen as a Postmaster for the Edwardsport post office, and then later the Montgomery post office. Their love extended to a project of acquiring a log home originally built [...] Click here to continue reading.


Van Erp, Dirk – Arts & Crafts Coppersmith

The Dirk Van Erp Studio

The Dirk Van Erp Studio, also know as The Copper Shop operated in San Francisco, California from 1908 to 1977. Principle artists working in the studio included its founder, Dirk Van Erp (1860 to 1933), D’arcy Gaw and Agatha Van Erp. Working with a staff of skilled craftsmen and women these artists produced a line of high quality copper vases, accessories and lighting.

Information courtesy of Craftsman Auctions, September 2002.


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