How to Identify Antique Chinese Furniture

There are a few key things to look for when trying to identify antique Chinese furniture. First, Chinese furniture is typically made of wood, so check for any warping or cracking in the wood. Second, look at the joinery – the way the pieces of wood are held together.

Traditional Chinese joinery doesn’t use nails or screws, so if you see any metal fasteners holding the piece together, it’s likely not an antique. Finally, take a look at the overall design and shape of the piece – Chinese furniture is known for its simple and elegant lines as well as its intricate carvings.

  • Look for furniture with a simple, elegant design
  • Chinese furniture is often designed with clean lines and a minimalistic aesthetic
  • Inspect the construction of the piece
  • Antique Chinese furniture is typically made from solid wood, rather than plywood or particle board
  • Feel the surface of the furniture to see if it is smooth to the touch
  • Many antique pieces have been sanded and polished over time, giving them a smooth finish
  • Examine any painted details on the furniture to see if they are well-preserved
  • If the paint is chipped or fading, it is likely not an antique piece
  • Check for any signatures or stamps on the bottom or back of the piece that could indicate its age or origin
How to Identify Antique Chinese Furniture


What Kind of Wood is Chinese Furniture Made From?

When it comes to furniture, China has a long and rich history. Furniture in China is often made from a variety of different woods, each with its own unique characteristics. Some of the most popular woods used in Chinese furniture include hong mu (redwood), zitan (purple wood), hei mu (black wood), and barium (white wood).

Hongmu is perhaps the most iconic of all Chinese furniture woods. This distinctive redwood is prized for its beauty and durability. Hongmu furniture is often intricately carved and features elaborate designs.

Zitan, also known as purpleheart, is another popular type of Chinese furniture wood. This exotic hardwood has a deep purple hue that darkens over time. Zitan furniture is typically very ornate and luxurious, making it a favorite among collectors.

Hei mu, or blackwood, is another common type of Chinese furniture wood. Hei mu has a dark brown or black coloration and grow in southern China. This sturdy hardwood is often used for making large pieces of furniture such as beds and dressers.

Baimu, or white wood, is less commonly used than other types of Chinese furniture woods but still has a place in traditional furnishings. Baimu has a light coloration that can range from pale yellow to white.

What Kind of Wood is Chinese Furniture Made From


How Do You Authenticate Antiques in China?

There are a few different ways that you can authenticate antiques in China. The first way is to look for any identifying marks or labels on the piece. If there are none, then you can try to research the piece by its style and design.

Another way to authenticate antiques in China is to take them to an appraiser or expert for their opinion.

How Can You Tell If Furniture is Antique Or Vintage?

When it comes to furniture, the terms “antique” and “vintage” are often used interchangeably. However, there is a difference between the two. Antique furniture is at least 100 years old, while vintage furniture is anything less than 100 years old but more than 20 years old.

Here are some tips on how to tell if your furniture is antique or vintage:

  1. Check for a maker’s mark or stamp. This will help you determine the age of the piece as well as who made it.
  2. Examine the construction of the piece. Antique furniture was usually handcrafted, so look for signs of this such as dovetailed joints or hand-carved details.
  3. Inspect the wood for signs of wear and tear. Antique furniture will typically show more wear and tear than vintage pieces since they’ve been around for longer.
  4. Feel the fabric of upholstered pieces. Antique fabrics are usually made from natural materials like wool or cotton, while synthetic fabrics were not commonly used until the mid-20th century.
  5. Look at the hardware. Antique hardware is often made from brass or other metals that have developed a patina over time.

Vintage hardware may be made from these materials as well, but it can also be chrome or another shiny metal.

How Do I Know What Era My Furniture Is from?

If you have a piece of furniture that you would like to know the era of, there are a few ways to figure it out. One way is by looking at the construction of the piece. For example, if the furniture has dovetail joints, it was likely made in the 18th or 19th century.

Another way to tell the era of furniture is by looking at the style and design. For example, if a piece has very ornate details and carvings, it was likely made during the Victorian Era. If you are still unsure about what era your piece of furniture is from, you can always consult with an expert or appraiser.

Chinese Antique Furniture Video #10 Determining Age

Chinese Furniture Types

There is a wide variety of furniture that has been popular in China for centuries. Some of the most common and iconic pieces include chairs, stools, benches, beds, cabinets, tables, and altars. Chairs: Chinese chairs can be divided into two main categories: those with arms and those without.

Armchairs are generally reserved for more formal occasions while armless chairs are used more commonly in everyday life. The most iconic style of Chinese chair is the yoke-back chair which has a curved top rail that resembles a yoke (the wooden frame used to harness oxen). Other popular styles include horseshoe-back chairs and ladder-back chairs.

Stools: Stools in China are often short with no back or arms and they are meant to be sat upon cross-legged. They can be made from a variety of materials including wood, stone, ceramic, or even jade. Benches: Benches in China are also meant to be sat upon cross-legged and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

They can be made from different materials like wood, stone, metal, or even bamboo. Beds: Beds in China were traditionally considered to be “sleeping platforms” rather than actual beds with mattresses and pillows. The most common type of bed was the king bed which was basically a raised platform made from brick or stone that could be heated from underneath.


Identifying antique Chinese furniture requires a combination of knowledge and experience. Antique pieces generally possess certain characteristics such as age, materials used, construction techniques, and design elements that are unique to certain periods in Chinese history. It is important to understand the different dynasties, their styles, and the materials they commonly used. Additionally, examining the joinery, hardware, and patina can also provide valuable information about the authenticity and age of the piece. It is best to consult with reputable dealers or experts in the field for guidance and advice when it comes to identifying antique Chinese furniture.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *