A hand picked, curated list of the best recommended books about Chinese Antique Furniture
The forms of Chinese furniture evolved along three distinct lineages which dates back to 1000 BC, based on frame and panel, yoke and rack (based on post and rail seen in architecture) and bamboo construction techniques. Chinese home furniture evolved independently of Western furniture into many similar forms including chairs, tables, stools, cupboards, cabinets, beds and sofas. Until about the 10th century CE the Chinese sat on mats or low platforms using low tables, in typical Asian style, but then gradually moved to using high tables with chairs.
Chinese furniture is mostly in plain polished wood, but from at least the Song dynasty the most luxurious pieces often used lacquer to cover the whole or parts of the visible areas. All the various sub-techniques of Chinese lacquerware can be found on furniture, and become increasingly affordable down the social scale, and so widely used, from about the Ming dynasty onwards. Carved lacquer furniture was at first only affordable by the imperial family or the extremely rich, but by the 19th century was merely very expensive, and mostly found in smaller pieces or as decorated areas on larger ones. It was especially popular on screens, which were common in China. Lacquer inlaid with mother of pearl was especially a technique used on furniture.
(Excerpt from Wikipedia)
Recommended Books, Research & Reading Materials
Chinese Furniture, A Series of Examples From Collections in FranceA Grammar of Chinese Lattice, Volume 1 of 2The Chair in ChinaChinese Household Furniture (History of Styles, Woods Used, Craftsmanship, Principles of Design, Furniture Arrangements and Specific Forms)Barbarian Beds: The Origin of the Chair in ChinaChinese and Japanese lacquer (Collectors' pieces)Chinese Lattice Designs (Dover Pictorial Archive)Chinese FurnitureDated Chinese Antiquities: 600 To 1650The Art of Ch'ing Dynasty FurnitureChinese Domestic Furniture in Photographs and Measured Drawings (Dover Books on Furniture)Wood-Carvers of Hong Kong: Craft Production in the World Capitalist PeripheryChinese Domestic Furniture - Gustav EckeClassic Chinese Furniture: Ming and Early Qing DynastiesThe Dr. S Y Yip Collection of Classic Chinese Furniture (Dreams of Chu Tan Chamber and the Romance with Huanghuali Wood)The Furniture of the Ch'ing Dynasty, The Art Pieces with Utility PurposesClassical Chinese Wood Furniture: September 1 to November 1Carpentry and Building in Late Imperial China: A Study of the Fifteenth-Century Carpenter's Manual Lu Ban Jing (Sinica Leidensia)Masterpieces from the Museum of Classical Chinese FurnitureChinese Classical Furniture by Grace Wu BruceBeyond the Screen: Chinese Furniture of the 16th and 17th CenturiesImportant Chinese Furniture, Formerly the Museum of Classical Chinese Furniture CollectionFriends of the House: Furniture from China's Towns & Villages (Peabody Essex Museum Collections)Classic Chinese Furniture of the Qing DynastyAntiques in the Raw by Hannah Davis, Brad ChiangThe Mr. and Mrs. Robert P. Piccus Collection of Fine Classical Chinese Furniture.Chinese Furniture: by Craig ClunasThe Beauty of Huanghuali Furniture John Kwang -Ming AngChinese Furniture (Hardwood Examples of the Ming and Early Ch'ing Dynasty)Classical and Vernacular Chinese Furniture in the Living EnvironmentConnoisseurship of Chinese Furniture: Ming and Early Qing Dynasties - Wang ShixiangC. L. Ma Collection: Traditional Chinese Furniture from the Greater Shanxi RegionChinese Furniture: Selected Articles From OrientationsMing Furniture: Rare Examples from the 16th and 17th Centuries – by Grace Wu BruceClassical Chinese Furniture in the Minneapolis Institute of ArtsSplendor of Style Classical Furniture from the Ming & Qing DynastiesLiving with Ming : The Lu Ming Shi CollectionA Leisurely Pursuit: Splendid Hardwood Antiquities from the Liang Yi Collection'Chinese Huanghuali Furniture from a Private CollectionAustere Luminosity of Chinese Classical FurnitureElegant Offerings from the Scholar's Studio: The Jiansong Ge CollectionThe Dr. S.Y. Yip Collection of Fine and Important Classical Chinese FurnitureClassical Chinese Doors and Windows Hardcover – by Ma WeiduChinese Furniture - Wenfang Works of Art - 2003 by Grace Wu BrucePure Form: Classical Chinese Furniture - Vok CollectionOld China / New Style: Antique Furniture & Accessories 1780-1930Classic Chinese Furniture: An IntroductionMing Furniture in the Light of Chinese ArchitectureArt in Life: Discovery of Historic Regional Furniture in ChinaStraits Chinese Furniture A Collectors GuideMing Furniture in the Forbidden City: Exhibition Forbidden City Yong Shou Gong April 28 - June 15, 2006A Treasury of Ming and Qing Dynasty Palace Furniture from The Palace Museum CollectionChinese Furniture: A Guide to Collecting AntiquesInspired by China: Contemporary Furnituremakers Explore Chinese TraditionsAsian Furniture: A Directory and SourcebookChinese Furniture: Exploring China's Furniture CultureChinese Country Antiques: Vernacular Furniture and Accessories, c. 1780–1920Things Chinese: Antiques, Crafts, CollectiblesHighlights of Auctioned Chinese Antiques: Chinese Classical Furniture (English full edition)Classical Chinese Furniture by Marcus FlacksNew Perspectives on Chinese Furniture - Littleton and HennessyForbidden City: Imperial Treasures from the Palace Museum, BeijingCustodians of the Scholar's Way: Chinese Scholars' Objects in Precious WoodsClassic Furniture: Craftsmanship, Trade Organisations and Cross-Cultural Influences in East and WestClassical Chinese Huanghuali Furniture from the Haven CollectionEncyclopedia of Chinese Traditional Furniture, Vol. 1: General IntroductionFurnishing the Gracious Chinese Home (Chinese and English Edition)