The majority of hardwood comes from hotter climates, namely tropical areas. Many of the hardwoods used in Chinese furniture were not native to China, but were introduced to China through trade. Chinese furniture is treasured for its value from meticulous craftsmanship, joinery, design, and cultural significance as well as for its wood. In Vietnam today, for example, one still finds new and old furniture pieces made out of the highly-valued Zitan wood. However, because most of these furniture pieces were made with fairly poor construction and craftsmanship, and with no outstanding feature in its artistic design, they often can be purchased relatively inexpensively and are not often among the lists the connoisseurs for classical Chinese furniture seek.


chinese antique furniture oriental qing dynasty ming gifts gallery decoratives Asian antique crafts craft traditional furniture chinese antique furniture oriental qing dynasty ming gifts gallery decoratives Asian antique crafts craft traditional furniture chinese antique furniture oriental qing dynasty ming gifts gallery decoratives Asian antique crafts craft traditional furniture chinese antique furniture oriental qing dynasty ming gifts gallery decoratives Asian antique crafts craft traditional furniture chinese antique furniture oriental qing dynasty ming gifts gallery decoratives Asian antique crafts craft traditional furniture chinese antique furniture oriental qing dynasty ming gifts gallery decoratives Asian antique crafts craft traditional furniture chinese antique furniture oriental qing dynasty ming gifts gallery decoratives urniture chinese antique furniture




Pinyin

English

Properties








Bai mu

Cypress

An incredibly dense and smooth blonde wood, without obvious grain, found in both Northern and Southern Chinese furniture. A finished Bai wood surface is like that of satin or silk to the eyes or to the touch of the hand. Seems much denser and harder than the American Cypress. This wood is also recognized in Ming furniture. Northern furniture made with Bai wood is often more prized than that made with Southern Bai wood.









He tao mu
hardwood

Walnut

With large beautiful and more delicate grain than that of Yu wood. Very dense wood. Usually found in Northern Chinese furniture. It is considered a rare and better wood by furniture dealers and collectors in China. Ming and Ching furniture made with this wood can occasionally still be found today.









Hua li mu
hardwood

Rosewood

With pleasant lighter yellow hue, unlike most of the dark heavy rosewood, and is probably the least expensive rosewood. A wood often confused for Huanghuali wood by amateurs.









Huang hua li
hardwood

Yellow Rose Wood

There are apparantly over sixty variety of Rosewood in the world. Therefore, rosewood is only a general term for some particular types of hardwood. However, Huanghuali is a totally different species of wood from what we normally call rosewood. "Huang", however, does mean yellow. A world-wide collectable and museum sought-after wood for Ming scholar's furniture.









Hong mu
hardwood

Mahogany

Also considered a type of rosewood. Often used in prominent Ching Dynasty furniture. It is probably the heaviest and the most dense rosewood. Most popular collectible wood by coastal Chinese, such as Taiwanese, Cantonese, and Shanghainese collectors









Ji chi mu
hardwood

Phoenix Tail or Chicken Wing Wood

This name came from its tight and feather-like grain resembling the iridescent quality of lights and shadows on some chicken or pheasant's feathers. It is an expensive wood often used for Ching Palace furniture. There are few examples of Ming Dynasty furniture made with Ji chi mu that exist. Old furmiture made with Ji chi mu ranks with furniture made with Zitan or huanghuali.









Ju mu

Southern Chinese Elm

Probably the most praised and used Chinese soft wood for Ming furniture. Southern Elm is considered better and less common wood than Northern Elm (Yu Mu.) The grain is a little tighter and a little more refined than that of a Northern Elm.









Liu mu

Willow










Nanyu mu

Southern Elm

This term is often used by Northern Chinese furniture dealers or the Northern Chinese wood workers to differentiate that of the Northern Elm














Shan mu

China Fir

Common wood used in many of the Southern Chinese provincial furniture pieces, buckets, stools, cabinets, etc.









Song mu

Pine

Commonly used in many of the less expensive Southern Chinese furniture pieces. For example, kitchen cabinets w/ lattice design, or Hong Chu.









Tie li mu
hardwood

Iron Wood

Poorman's Ji Chi Mu. It has similar color and grain like Ji Chi Mu, but not as dense and heavy. This wood was also used in Ming furniture. Ming furniture made with Tie li mu is costly but can occasionally be found and bought in China









Xiang mu
or Gao li mu
hardwood

Oak

Gao Li is a term for ancient Korea. This means this wood is not native to China and came from Northern border. This is why some of the Mongolian style folding chairs were made of this wood.









You mu

Teak


Teak timber is valued in warm countries principally for its extraordinary durability. In India and in Burma, beams of the wood in good preservation are often found in buildings many centuries old, and teak beams have lasted in palaces and temples more than 1,000 years. The timber is practically imperishable under cover.

Teakwood is used for shipbuilding, fine furniture, door and window frames, wharves, bridges, cooling-tower louvres, flooring, panelling, railway cars, and venetian blinds. An important property of teak is its extremely good dimensional stability. It is strong, of medium weight, and of average hardness. Termites eat the sapwood but rarely attack the heartwood; it is not, however, completely resistant to marine borers.










Ying Mu
hardwood

Burl wood

Burl wood is a general term for certain cut of the wood near the root or at the root section. There are several kinds of burl, some being more expensive than others. Burl, being a small section of certain variety trees, is scarce in its availability and is a costly wood since the time of ancient China. It has long been treasured by Chinese wood workers. It was often used only for the small surface areas of furniture made with other hardwoods.









Yu mu

Northern Chinese Elm Wood

Large tree with elaborate and obvious grain. It is a good wood commonly used for Northern Chinese furniture. Furniture made of this wood is very popular outside of China for its solid wood construction and beautiful grain.




Zao mu
hardwood

American Oak

It is not a common wood found in old furniture surviving today, with the exception of one certain type of Southern stool with bamboo slats. There are, though rare, examples of Ming furniture made out of this wood.




Zhang mu
hardwood

Camphor Wood

Found in both Northern and Southern Chinese furniture. Some of our FC style furniture and carvings are made out of camphor wood. It is considered a good wood by Chinese because of its density, grain, and the repellant quality to bugs (similar to cedar.)




Zitan
hardwood

Red- Purple Sandal Wood

"Zi" means purple. "Tan" means Sandle wood. This is the most expensive wood in the world. It is so dense that it's the only kind of wood that sinks in water rather than float. In ancient Chinese literature, it was recorded that Zitan and Huanghuali were worth as much as and as expensive as gold. It is the most prized and expensive wood used in Ming and Ching furniture. Few Ming Dynasty Zitan wood furniture pieces exist outside of museums & famed collections

QingGallery.com © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.