• Architectural Items
  • Where can I find good books on Chinese wood carvings and architectural elements?

    I get a ton of emails each week asking where to find more information on various antiques related topics. Recently there have been an unusual number of emails asking for information on wood carvings in particular. Here is one from this week: “I have a wooden architectural carving that was a mantle for a gate. It […]

  • Antique Markets
  • Traditional chinese houses – from the countryside into the city (with million dollar profits too)

    traditional chinese homes resold - banner

      Very interesting article in the China daily talking about the resale market for Ming and Qing dynasty Chinese traditional homes which are disassembled, transported, repaired and then resold to restaurants, clubs or wealthy collectors.  Now this is an interesting topic which I could easily get lost in as it just touches on so many interesting elements from Hui […]

  • Architectural Items
  • Red star over China – These temple carvings from the cultural revolution era sport politically correct themes

    Stowe Sprague was kind enough to send me these interesting photos on her blog from her visit to the Tulou region of Nanjing county, Fujian province.  During her visit to a temple in the town of Taxialou, she noticed the temple’s architectural wood carvings had been replaced with “politically correct themes” rather then the traditional Chinese motifs. Apparently […]

  • Home decor & accessories
  • Carved wooden architectural elements salvaged from traditional Chinese homes gain a new lease on life…

    I have had this photo of a “Pai Lou” (牌楼) which has been sitting on my hard drive for ages. I snapped the image of this particular one, a few years back while buying salvaged wooden architectural elements, which we would then restore and create matching stands for providing them with a second life. This […]

  • Antique Restorations
  • A to Z: Restoring chinese wood carvings, wooden screens and carved architectural elements.

    3) Retouch color

    When a Chinese traditional homes is demolished  to make way for the new, elements like antique window screens, carved panels & screens and other architectural elements are typically salvaged to be reborn as decorative items in modern homes. Thinking about adding such a piece of history to your collection?  Here’s a quick look at the […]

  • Furniture Design & Construction
  • Hand carved Vs. CNC woodworking

    Last week we went to an exhibition of new classic Chinese furniture. There were not only factories of furniture, but also those selling frightening robot-like CNC machines… It made me wonder if hand labor is even in threat of becoming abundant even here, even in this workmanship, even in art …