16 Apr 2014
I’ve been back from China over a week now and just about managed to catch up with everything here after a very successful trip. My last couple of days in Beijing gave me time to meet with one other contact there to talk about some possible projects in the future as well as to fit in a trip to Panjiayuan market to check out the usual huge selection of stalls offering ceramics, stoneware, art, jade, bronzes and just about every other Chinese artefact you could possibly imagine. The market is only open at weekends and is always packed with traders, locals looking to pick up a bargain, as well as the odd tourist. There are a few furniture suppliers with concessions around the market but most of these are aimed at the local market, offering hardwood pieces poplular with wealthy Chinese rather than antiques or elm wood furniture.
This time the market was even larger than before, having been extended out at the far end with dozens of new stalls. Amongst the usual stoneware and ceramics that is always good to top up our range of oriental accessories, I discovered a couple of new artists’ stalls including one selling some lovely original paintings. Look out for these in the coming months in our showroom and on our website. Brightly coloured and depicting various ladies at leisure, they are based on the works of the well known Chinese artist Shuai Mei and the style is a balance between classic and contempory.
From Beijing I moved on to Shanghai, where much of our production furniture is produced including our main ‘Chinese Classical’ range. This was a shorter part of the trip. As we have only just had a shipment of our furniture leave Shanghai it was mostly about catching up with the guys at the workshop and discussing future developments, but I was also able to meet with a new potential supplier for our silk wallpaper and to discuss a current project for a couple of our beautiful hand painted silk screens. As ever when I come to Shanghai, my visit also meant being treated to one or two delicious meals with the owners, including one at their favourite little Japanese restaurant – very authentic and very tasty.
I’m delighted with the mix and selection of antique furniture that I’ve lined up for our next container and can’t wait for these pieces to arrive in the UK. We will be shipping this container in around four weeks from now (we have some production items on order to include as well) so hopefully we will receive everything towards the end of June. As usual, the vast majority of these pieces will be available to view and order on our website well before the container arrives. In fact, you can already view a small selection of these on our Facebook page and we will post more up there in the coming weeks as a sneak preview. I hope you’ll see something you like!