Getting ready for our new container of antiques
Our latest container of Chinese antique furniture from Beijing sails into port this evening so all being well we will get our hands on the contents around the middle of next week, when it arrives at our warehouse. In this case almost all of the pieces included on the container are ones that I selected myself on my most recent visit to China, so it will be great to finally get hold of these in the UK.The time taken to finalise the various items of furniture and accessories to be included on the container, organise shipping and then the actual shipping time itself – often around 5 weeks or even more from Beijing, means that it will have been months since I saw these pieces in the various warehouses that I visited.
In the meantime we have photos and details of all the furniture so we have been busy editing these and putting them up on the website over the past couple of weeks. You can now already see and order all of the sixty or so antiques that are coming in, which include some beautiful painted furniture from Shanxi (one of my favourite styles of Chinese furniture and one that I blogged about last time), as well as some quite unique and now quite rare Mongolian furniture. There are also a couple of wonderful altar tables from Shaanxi province in central China. These two pieces are particularly old, with one dating from the middle of the 18th century at a conservative estimate.Shaanxi, with its ancient capital of Xian – home of the terracotta warriors – developed a quite distinctive style of furniture and the pieces that survive and are on the market today tend to be from the early 19th century and earlier. Most of these pieces are either side tables, altar tables or coffers – used for storing valuables. What they all tend to have in common are ornate, usually quite heavy carvings on the front. Like furniture from most other parts of China these were normally finished with a lacquer. However the most striking thing about the pieces are the carvings and the rich grain of the elm wood that they are normally made out of. The restoration workshops that we work with will therefore often strip back any remaining traces of lacquer to reveal the beautiful wood beneath and so that the carvings can more easily be appreciated.
As well as the antique furniture and production pieces in our ‘Chinese Country‘ range – several made to order to meet customer requests, the container is also filled with some fantastic accessories. Some of these can already be ordered online but they also include new lighting, ceramics, art, jewellery, lacquer boxes and more that will only be available through our showroom in Saltaire – they should all be here within the next couple of weeks. So if you are not too far away or are passing this way, make sure you pay us a visit to view these in person.