Getting ready for another sourcing trip to China
It’s been longer than I would have liked since my last visit, but I’m flying out again to China in ten days or so to meet up with suppliers and to source more beautiful antiques and accessories. First stop this time will be Shanghai to meet up with the guys at the workshop where most of our reproduction pieces are made. The timing fits in nicely this time around as we have a container of Chinese Classical Furniture due to leave Shanghai towards the end of June, so I will be able to personally check each item before it is loaded. As usual, in addition to our standard designs the shipment will include a large number of made to order pieces that we have arranged for customers over the past few weeks. Normally I don’t get to see these ‘in the flesh’ but have to make do with photos that the guys at the workshop take for me. So I’m looking forward to inspecting these – in particular a couple of large red and gold Wedding Cabinets that we have had made as bedroom furniture for a customer in London. I’ll also be catching up with the supplier we use for our silk wallpaper to look at their latest designs and ideas.
After Shanghai it will be on to Beijing to meet up with other suppliers and more specifically to look for pieces to go our next shipment of Chinese antique furniture. We use one main workshop that we have been involved with now for around six years and which also makes some of our reproduction furniture. However it is always interesting to visit a number of other suppliers as each one tends to have a slightly different focus either in terms of the type of pieces they have available or the finishes and techniques that they use in restoring antiques. Ultimately every customer has slightly different taste so it makes sense to try to source a fairly eclectic mix of pieces.
As well as the antiques, I will also be on the hunt for good quality and unusual smaller items to complement our furniture. This means visiting the various markets around Beijing where you can find everything from wonderful reproduction bronzes, such as our beautiful ‘Tang Horse‘ pictured here, to traditional ancestor paintings, artworks, ceramics, silks and much more. We plan to make far more of these smaller items available online in the next few months so more details to follow!
I’m hoping to have time to put a couple of posts up on the blog while I’m over in China with details of any unusual or interesting finds so check back soon.