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Northern and Southern Styles of Chinese Antiques Print E-mail

John Rogers: Hi I'm John.

Yuqing Zhao: I'm Yuqing.

John Rogers: And we're both here from ChineseAntiqueFurnitureShop.com. And we have a continuing series of videos on Chinese antique furniture. And in this video we're going to respond to some of the questions we have received that you have kindly sent in. Those of you who have signed up for our newsletter do have the opportunity to provide comments and questions and we're going to try on a continuing basis to answer them.

One of the questions that we've received a number of different times is where are these centers of furniture manufacturing that were concentrated in China over the last 100 to 200 years? Where were they in China and what are the differences between them? So Yuqing can you talk to us a little bit about that?

Yuqing Zhao: Sure, we found antique furniture from both Northern China and Southern China and most of our pieces are from northern China. We found Northern Chinese pieces from Shanxi Province, Hebei Province, Shandong Province and Manchuria, Inner Mongolia, and Gansu Province, etc. But we think the center if you talk about center, Shanxi Province is the traditional place or province for Chinese antique furniture.

John Rogers: And you may, those of you who have explored the Web site a little bit will not that there is a book reviewed in there by Cola Ma exclusively on furniture from Shanxi Province.

Yuqing Zhao: That's right and we also found pieces from Southern China too. There are two provinces we found most of our pieces from are Zhejiang Province and Fujian Province and that includes Shanghai, Fujian Province, including Shanghai. Other provinces we didn't find that much or we just didn't go. So these two are kinds of furniture are considered the center of Chinese pieces.

John Rogers: And what I think Yuqing is implying also, certainly, is there's more commonality between the furniture produced and the provinces of the north and more commonality between the provinces that produce southern furniture than there this perhaps between northern and southern furniture. So can you help us to understand the difference between northern and southern Chinese furniture?

Yuqing Zhao: Sure, two types of ways. The first way is different wood. They use different material. In northern China the pieces of furniture were made out of elm wood, poplar and cyprus. In southern China the pieces were made out of southern elm wood which is also called Ju wood in Chinese and some cypress, maybe should have used cedar because there's more cedar trees in southern China and less poplar, that's one thing. The other thing is that northern Chinese furniture, to me, looks more strong and southern Chinese furniture looks more delicate.

John Rogers: Yes. And Yuqing, very kindly, has provided us with some examples which highlight the difference between northern and southern Chinese furniture but obviously not very big pieces, a couple of small pieces. You want to tell us Yuqing how you contrast these water buckets?

Yuqing Zhao: Yeah, sure. This is a water bucket from northern China we refinished into a red color. And this to me or you can see here it's plain, it's kind of a big one, plain looking and strong looking. And this is a water bucket from southern China, smaller, sleeker and a little more in here also. And the hardware used on here is a little nicer, too to me. So the northern Chinese is more strong looking and they just want to use them. And pieces from southern China, the carpenters tend to put more time on it and they use a little more nice decorative pieces on here. They have more time to carve them too.

John Rogers: Thanks, Yuqing and thank you for watching these videos. Please continue to send us in the questions because if you ask the questions that gives us the opportunity to answer them. Again, ChineseAntiqueFurnitureShop.com, sign up please for our newsletter. Thanks again.

Yuqing Zhao: Thank you.