Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Furniture and Interior Design
(910 words)

The early history of Chinese furniture recorded in archaeological materials reveals a mat-level furniture culture. The ancient Chinese knelt or sat cross-legged upon woven mats surrounded by various furnishings including low tables, screens, and armrests. Some excavated lacquer furniture from the ancient kingdom of Chu (ca. 500 BCE) demonstrates an aesthetic of minimalism and simplicity while others are more ornately decorated with painted designs and with fine relief and/or openwork carving. Th…

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Evarts, Curtis, “Furniture and Interior Design”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 22 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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