How to Tell the Different Types of China Furniture Apart

When it comes to China furniture, there are many different types to choose from. It can be difficult to know how to tell one type of China furniture apart from another. In this blog post, we will discuss the various types of China furniture and how to distinguish them from one another. From traditional Chinese styles to modern Western styles, we will explain the unique characteristics of each type of China furniture. We will also provide tips on how to spot the subtle differences between the various types. By the end of this post, you should be able to easily identify any type of china furniture.

Table of contents

Chinese Ming Dynasty furniture

Chinese Qing Dynasty furniture

Chinese furniture from other dynasties


Chinese Ming Dynasty furniture

The distinguishing features of Chinese Ming Dynasty furniture include the use of quality woods such as rosewood, huanghuali, and zitan; the presence of metal inlay and lacquer; and the lack of complicated ornamentation. Many of the pieces were also crafted to stand on their own with intricate joinery. Some of the most popular pieces from this era are tables, chairs, chests, wardrobes, and sideboards.

If you’re interested in purchasing authentic Chinese Ming Dynasty furniture, you should be aware of some key characteristics that will help you distinguish it from replicas or modern versions. Be keen to look for pieces with superior craftsmanship, quality woods, metal inlay, and minimal ornamentation. Also seek evidence of age, such as signs of wear or patina on the surfaces. These details and signs of aging can help you ensure that your China furniture is truly from this period.

Chinese Qing Dynasty furniture

When looking at China furniture, there are a few features that you can use to distinguish Qing Dynasty pieces. The first is the form and design. Qing Dynasty furniture typically features curved edges, often with elaborate carvings and intricate inlays. In addition, many of the pieces have a lacquer finish that creates an attractive sheen.

The next feature is construction. During this period, joinery techniques such as mortise and tenon joints were used to connect pieces of wood. Additionally, intricate doweling was employed to secure panels together. Finally, pieces were often carved with intricate details such as handles and decorations.

Qing Dynasty furniture can be distinguished by checking the materials used to make them. Many pieces feature ornate carvings made from ivory and bone, while other materials such as jade and porcelain were used to create more intricate patterns. In addition, some pieces feature metal fittings or inlays made from gold or silver.

Overall, Chinese Qing Dynasty furniture is highly recognizable due to its unique form, design, construction, and materials. As a result, it has become a prized possession among collectors.

Chinese furniture from other dynasties

One of the most well-known types of China furniture is Han Dynasty furniture. This style originated in 206 BCE and lasted until 220 CE. It is known for its heavy construction, often featuring thick walls and massive beams. The legs and sides were decorated with reliefs of animals, symbols, and scenes from literature or everyday life. Han Dynasty furniture often features a low center of gravity, which allows it to remain sturdy even in heavy use.

Another type of China furniture is Tang Dynasty furniture. This style of furniture originated during the Tang Dynasty, which lasted from 618-907 CE. This style of furniture was much more delicate than Han Dynasty furniture, with thin wooden construction and an emphasis on artistry. Tang Dynasty furniture also had a lighter color palette, with softer tones such as blues, greens, and yellows used for the decorations. Common motifs in Tang Dynasty furniture include dragons, peonies, and lotus flowers.

Finally, Song Dynasty furniture is a unique type of China furniture. This style of furniture originated during the Song Dynasty (960-1279 CE). Song Dynasty furniture was made from light materials such as bamboo or rattan and was often adorned with intricate carvings or lacquerware designs. This type of furniture was also typically rectangular with straight lines and clean edges.

With knowledge of these key characteristics, you can easily identify the type of China furniture you have. By looking at the construction, motifs, colors, and shapes of the furniture, one can tell which dynasty the furniture belongs to. 


When it comes to China furniture, there is an incredible variety of styles and designs. From Ming and Qing Dynasty antiques to contemporary designs, the sheer range of options can be overwhelming. Fortunately, by understanding the various types of Chinese furniture, you can make informed decisions on which pieces will fit best into your home.

When shopping for China furniture, consider the type of wood used, the age of the piece, and the style of the carvings. Be sure to research each type of furniture before making a purchase. With a little bit of time and effort, you can create a beautiful home filled with unique pieces that express your unique style.

We hope this article has helped you learn about the different types of China furniture. Whether you are looking for traditional antique pieces or modern designs, there is a wide range of furniture to choose from. Happy shopping!


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