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During the Ming dynasty, Chinese furniture received much greater attention than in previous times. Interior design became a sophisticated practice in which furniture was intended to complement a home. The aesthetic value of tables and chairs was part of the development of specific designs corresponding to specific functions. In addition, construction techniques and materials used were as appreciated as the design of furniture.


What different shapes and sizes of tables can you find in the images on this page?

 What functions do you think might be specific to different designs?




Print of seated woman             source  


Print of diners                               source


Notice that in the woodblock prints above, the furniture is bare.


The material of these tables is huanghua li or "yellow rosewood."

Why do you think this type of wood was highly favored by Chinese carpenters and homeowners?





A Ming dynasty table                                         source


Why might the table below be so short?


A Ming period kang table                                                            source 



If you haven't already looked at the kang and its furniture, click here.


An important feature of much classical Chinese furniture is that it is made without nails. 


If nails were not used, how do you think these tables and chairs might have been constructed?




Ming dynasty armchairs                                                           source





Note the similarities and differences between the chairs in the print at right and the chairs above.



How many different types of chairs do you see in the images on this page?


High-back chairs as seen in a Ming dynasty woodblock print   source


Round drum stool from the Ming dynasty


Ming dynasty woodblock print from the  novel A Pair of Fishes            source


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