Chinese Furniture - Oriental Furniture
No type of antique furniture has such extremes. Chinese furniture evolves from simple plain bent wood designs to the most elaborate dragon embellished "believe it or nots." It is completely maddening. The older Chinese furniture is the more modern it looks, ancient Ming pieces bring fortunes from collectors who never would allow an antique in their homes. Even the later black lacquer pieces have more dragons on them than a Harry Potter movie are valuable. If there is a spare inch left, then it is festooned with mother of pearl and occasional rare ivory. Unlike European furniture, Chinese furniture is completely impossible to see how one evolved from the other, but that is its great fascination, its great charm.
Individual specimen of Chinese furniture are greatly valued, but the true oriental furniture collector wants complete sets: tables, chairs, side tables, and sofas. Most Oriental furniture sets have been broken up over the centuries, thus today such Chinese furniture sets are often unobtainable and very valuable if found together.
Best Japanese examples of oriental furniture are from the Meiji and Taishi periods (1868-1926). Today many oriental furniture collectors have interest in the later Showa period (1926-1989).
Best Chinese examples of oriental furniture are in Rosewood (Holunhi) which ranges from dark to blonde and has satin finish. Hung- mu wood is darker and more desirable. Chests are usually camphor wood. The best examples have elaborate inlays, relief designs on the sides, and sometimes even the top. The most desirable Chinese chests are easily converted to coffee tables.
Wood oriental screens are common, inlaid ones are a world all their own. Inlays range from mother of pearl to ivory, jade and semi precious stones are known, but mainly in museums. Condition is extremely important as replacement of inlays is near impossible. Full size room dividers are most common, but occasionally half size and miniatures are encountered. Plain black lacquer oriental screens are popular among new collectors in studio apartments. They easily segregated off bedroom area, with style and elegance.
Because of extensive files, we are able to appraise Oriental furniture from photographs.
There is no charge to advise you where to sell your oriental furniture, New York, California, London, Tokyo or even China. Yes, China has antique auction houses catering to American consignors. Wealthy Chinese collectors are buying back their own antiques today and paying higher prices for Oriental furniture then Westerners. Let us help you understand these new developing markets. We are the oriental furniture experts.