How to identify antique Сhinese furniture?

How to identify antique Сhinese furniture?

How to identify antique Сhinese furniture

When purchasing antique Chinese furniture, it is crucial to know how to identify it correctly. The shapes of the furniture are much different than they were hundreds of years ago. Often, rectangular tables and chairs are especially prone to imitations. Rectangular tables have modern comfort and could easily be mistaken for antique Chinese furniture. The best way to avoid being duped is to hire a consultant. These consultants are antique connoisseurs and understand how to spot the tricks of the antique market.

Basic techniques used in identifying antique hinese furniture

There are a few basic techniques used in identifying antique Chinese furniture, which will help you determine whether the piece you’re considering purchasing is truly antique. These signs can be found on various parts of the piece, including the wood, the carving, and the underside. In addition, it’s helpful to look for signs of wood aging, which will be more obvious on antique Chinese furniture. Antique Chinese furniture will develop natural incrustation over time, while fakes use artificial patination.

The Ming Dynasty is considered the “golden age” for antique Chinese furniture, and it is the period during which Chinese craftsmen developed mortise and tenon joints that require no screws or nails. These pieces were made to be portable, as horses were used to transport furniture to distant locations. Dovetailing, which is the traditional method of joining wood together, is still commonly used today. Mortise and tenon joints are simple to make and require no glue or nails.

It is essential to exercise extreme caution when buying Chinese antique furniture. Fake pieces of the same design or style are everywhere. Thankfully, Chinese furniture did not use these techniques until the 1980s, when fake pieces of Chinese furniture began to pop up in the market. During this time, fake pieces of furniture were not intended to pass for authentic Chinese furniture. The talented fabricators who made these fakes also used top-quality joinery and patina to make them pass as authentic.


If you’ve ever wondered how to identify antique Chinese furniture, you’ve come to the right place. These beautiful pieces of furniture can be either real or a reproduction. Antique Chinese furniture reflects worldly tastes, and it can remind you of your travels. But with the proliferation of reproductions in the market, how do you tell which is real and which is not? Below are some tips to help you identify antique Chinese furniture.

Wood: Mahogany is the most common material for antique Chinese furniture, but two types of hardwood grown on the island of Hainan are particularly prized. Zitan, a member of the rosewood family, is dense and ranges in color from burnt orange to blackish red. Huanghuali, another rosewood, has an almost translucent shimmering surface and abstract patterns. It is rare to find an antique Chinese piece of furniture that doesn’t bear these signs.

Joinery is essential for identifying antique Chinese furniture. Antique Chinese furniture is often joined together like a jigsaw, and joints are loosely knit to prevent breaking when moved. If you’re not sure whether or not your antique Chinese furniture is genuine, consult a dealer or professional antique furniture expert. Other red flags to avoid are new woods, metallic iron, glue, or a lack of joinery.

Lacquer finishes

Antique Hinese furniture has been in use for centuries, and its lacquer finishes are a key characteristic. Unlike traditional Chinese furniture, which is often sanded and waxed, antique Chinese pieces are not varnished, but have been finished with lacquer, which provides a durable, sealed surface and decorative effects. These finishes have been used in China for a very long time, and they are the best indicator of age, as they oxidise with predictable rates.

Chinese lacquer is a very thin layer of resin applied over the wood or textile base material. This process also allows different colours to be revealed through cutting the surface of the piece. The top surface may be one colour, while the bottom layer will show a marble effect. It is also easy to spot antique Chinese lacquerware because the layers are often so thin. The earliest pieces of Chinese lacquer furniture date back to the Tang dynasty (618-907 CE), when the process of applying lacquer began.

The most common types of lacquered goods were cups with a winged rim, beakers, and bowls. Lacquerware often imitated contemporary bronze and embroidery. Common motifs include circles and lozenge patterns. Wooden animal sculptures were also popular and often finished in lacquer. Once the material was dry, the lacquerware was a finished product worthy of display.


If you are looking for an antique Chinese table and chairs set, it can be difficult to tell what is real and what is fake. It is best to go to a professional who can identify the true antiques. The measurements and styles of Chinese furniture are not as distinct as those of their Western counterparts. You should avoid buying a Chinese antique if you are not familiar with the dimensions and styles. You should also consider the wood used to craft the furniture. The wood used during the Qing dynasty was over-exploited, making them vulnerable to fakes. It is wise to consult an expert if you are unsure of the dimensions of antique Chinese furniture.


Chinese antique furniture incorporates symbols to convey meaning. Since symbolism has been a part of Chinese culture for thousands of years, animals and plants are used to represent concepts. For example, the dragon, which represents male vigor and fertility in Chinese mythology, is often depicted as a decorative medallion or trim. A few examples of these types of Chinese antique furniture are pictured below. This article will discuss some of the most common patterns found in antique Chinese furniture.

Qing-Era Qing Dynasty (1644-1911): The patterns in vernacular Chinese furniture reflect the style of classical Chinese furniture. They can range from modest and conservative to ornate and lavishly lacquered. The patterns of Chinese antique furniture reveal another important aspect of this ancient tradition. While it is difficult to tell which of these patterns are actually Chinese, you can generally determine the style of a piece by studying the locks, file marks, and various elements.

The Ming Dynasty: China’s Ming and Qing dynasties were the golden age of Chinese antique furniture. Stability and a rich trade in commodities and art made for a well-developed handicraft industry. Old Shanghai Style Furniture: This type of antique Chinese furniture is a blend of eastern and western style. Qing Dynasty furniture is particularly colorful and has a lot of carving.


In addition to its age, an important factor in determining the authenticity of an antique piece is the wood used for its construction. Chinese furniture is often made with wood that has seen extensive use and can show signs of ageing in different parts of the wood. The easiest areas to spot the signs of age are the wood’s uncovered / raw back and carved panels. If any of these signs are present, the furniture may be an antique piece.

The golden age of Chinese furniture production is generally considered to be from the years 1550-1750. This period saw a tremendous growth in the decorative arts and furniture manufacturing. As a result, the pieces produced during this period reflect the transition between dynasties. Though many examples are based on earlier forms, others are entirely new. The value of antique Chinese furniture is directly related to the type of wood used. Certain hardwoods command a high price no matter what condition they’re in.

The first clue to an antique Chinese piece is the wood used. While Chinese furniture was crafted using wood from the middle of the 13th century and later, most pieces of Chinese furniture are made with oak, walnut, and mahogany. Although the wood used for Chinese furniture is not particularly old, its finish is a good indicator of its age. It is important to check the symmetry of Chinese furniture pieces before buying them.


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