Furnishing the Gracious Chinese Home

Author: Philip Mak

126 pp, over 197 color exquisite illustrations 69 B&W illustrations,9 x 12.25 inches, hard cover with dust jacket

Chinese furniture design had been improved through the centuries, maturing during the 14th century.The Qing furniture developed on the basis of Ming style furniture, using the similar joinery. It was attractive with ornate novel decorative elements. In the olden days of China, those who had resources could afford to live in a gracious residence such as the four-closed courtyard house (siheyuan).The four-closed courtyard house is the Chinese art of enclosing space to create an ideal environment for habitation. The multifunctional Chinese classical furniture facilitates the indoor and outdoor activities of its inhabitants. 

To explain the arrangement of furniture in siheyuan during the Ming and the Qing period (1368-1911),the author has drawn three-dimensional and perspective views of the interior of various rooms. He guides the readers through them, narrating the placement of furniture with inherent social implications. Furthermore, he has numbered the pieces in those rooms in the drawings, for reference to the detailed description of them individually in the catalogue section of the book.  Technical terms are illustrated visually in the drawings of some pieces.  They are shown in conjunction with colour plates. This renderes the book user-friendly even to the first time readers.