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Book Reviews

I have enjoyed reading a large number of books to further my understanding of Chinese antiques. From time to time I will share some of my favorites. If you have even a passing interest in learning more about Chinese antiques, I'm sure you will find these books to be both worthwhile and fascinating.



Connoisseurship of Chinese Furniture, Ming and Early Qing Dynasties PDF Print E-mail

by Wang Shixiang - two volumes boxed set published by Art Media Resources, Ltd, 1990

Wang Sixiang is the foremost authority on Ming and Qing furniture in the world. His two volume set is an indispensible reference for all serious students of Chinese furniture. Why, one might ask, would a collector of soft wood Chinese furniture such as Northern elm or cypress used by the "average Joe" be interested in a book of much earlier furniture? The reason, of course, is the constancy of...

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Liang Yi Collection PDF Print E-mail

by Curtis Evarts.  Three volume set published by United Sky Resources Limited, 2007

This three volume set is based upon the Liang Yi Collection housed in a museum in Hong Kong.  Nothing in the texts provides any historical background on who, how, and why the collection was assembled.  It assumes common knowledge, even though that knowledge is not common--at least to me.

These books, whose text is written in both English and Chinese, are divided into three...

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China's Living Houses - Folk Beliefs, Symbols, and Household Ornamentation PDF Print E-mail

by Ronald G. Knapp, 1999, University of Hawai'i Press

I read all I can about Chinese Antique Furniture. The title of this book implies only a tangential relation to Chinese furniture. Actually, nothing could be farther from the truth. If forced to prune my reference library down to bare bones, this book would be among the last to go. To make myself clear, let me say that this book is absolutely fundamental to my library.

Why do I say that? It is because much Chinese...

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Classical Chinese Doors and Windows PDF Print E-mail

by Ma Weidu, China Architecture and Building Press

Ever since I saw big doors displayed for the first time, it has been love at first sight. Those familiar with the videos on doors and windows will already have seen some handsome examples. The doors in the video came from Shanxi province, likewise most of the windows. Mr. Ma has collected examples from many other provinces as well.

The first thing you will note about this magnificent book is its size. 15" long, 10 1/2"

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Chinese Furniture: One Hundred Examples from the Mimi and Raymond Hung Collection PDF Print E-mail

Privately Published New York, 1996

These books (a two volume set) deal with furniture acquired by the Hungs with the assistance of Robert H. Ellsworth. Mr. Ellsworth is one of the world's foremost non-Chinese experts in Ming and early Qing furniture. These books contain examples of virtually all the forms of classical Chinese furniture. The photographs are superb, and convey each object's beauty; the text specifies the technical details of construction and carved symbolism. The text...

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Classic Chinese Furniture – Ming and Early Qing Dynasties PDF Print E-mail

by Wang Shixiang, Art Media Resources, Ltd, 1991

This book is separated into three parts: the first part discusses the various types of furniture forms and their origin, and woods used in classical furniture. The second and much longer part of the book illustrates various furniture forms. The illustrations are in color and depict some of the finest Chinese furniture ever made. The third part consists of comments about the furniture pictured in the second part. Although there are...

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C. L. Ma Collection: Traditional Chinese Furniture from the Greater Shanxi Region PDF Print E-mail

by Curtis Evarts, Published by C. L. Ma Furniture, Hong Kong 1999

I love this book! I love it as it contains three insights that I have not seen elsewhere. First, Ming and Qing furniture were made with woods other than the well known huanghuali, zitan, and chicken wing woods, which are considered "hardwood" in China. Second, there is a difference between the Chinese and Western definitions of "hardwood" and "softwood." "...Western vernacular, wherein "softwood" implies soft...

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The Last Days of Old Beijing PDF Print E-mail

by Michael Meyer, published by Walker and Company, New York copyright 2008

While exhibiting at the Marion, Massachusetts Antique Show, and also at the Vermont Antique Dealers Association Show in August, 2009, I realized that everything displayed on my walls had been taken from destroyed houses. I had window frames, doors, exquisite wooden carvings, pole signs, and presentation signs, all of which came from destroyed houses. Looking at what I had hanging in my displays became...

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