Most of our antique pieces are from the late Qing Dynasty, which dated from 1644 to 1911. These pieces come from all over China, and their origin and approximate age is listed in the description of each piece. These are authentic pieces, that have been hand restored using traditional Chinese cabinetmaking and joinery skills. The furniture craftsmanship in the Qing Dynasty and earlier was so precise that furniture parts were connected without the use of nails or glue.
During restoration, some pieces are made more practical for modern use while retaining the beauty of the original piece. A good example is a Mongolian cabinet. The cabinet pictured below on the left is a beautiful example of an unrestored piece. It may appeal to a collector or someone who just appreciates it’s beauty, but from a practical point it is not the most functional piece. This piece was most likely originally used for grain storage, and the only access to the cabinet is a section of the top that is removable, so getting full use of the space is difficult. The hardware on the the top allowed it to be locked so the top section could not be lifted out.
The cabinet on the right has undergone restoration and is what most people understand as a typical Mongolian cabinet. This example still has the hardware on the top, but the removable sections are now fastened in place and can no longer be lifted out. The fixed front panels has been carefully cut out, and those panels have each been reinforced and converted to a pair of doors. The aprons below the doors have also been cut out and now function as fronts to the drawers that have been added. Now we have a cabinet that still shows it’s original beauty, but we also have a piece that has much more accessible storage. Often during restoration shelves will also be added inside the cabinets, and most of the time these are removable.
The map below shows the different Provinces in China.