The background of the generation of Huanghuali furniture

A large number of facts prove that the hardwood furniture of the Ming Dynasty, especially the Ming Dynasty huanghuali furniture, was not as early as the middle of the Ming Dynasty, that is, the Jialongwan period. In this way, the reader may have such a question: According to the history book, in the middle and late Ming Dynasty, especially in the period of the Jialongwan period, there were two emperors who had not been to the DPRK for more than 40 years. It can be said that the people are not living, and the people are living in the wild. People’s lives are simply hungry. Committed and miserable, the country is almost on the verge of collapse. In such a cruel environment, it is hard to imagine that there will be a wind and snow. In fact, life at any time has its two sides. People of this period, especially the literati class, are striving for the comfort of life because of their desperation for politics. Thus, there appeared a scorpion such as the Qinhuai River; there was an anecdote about Tang Bohu's Qiuxiang; a Wumen School of Painting represented by Wen Zhengming appeared; and the originator of "Dream of Red Mansions" appeared in "Jin Ping Mei". It is no exaggeration to say that from the end of the 16th century to the beginning of the 17th century, when the European Baroque art still dominated the Western world, the East China was experiencing the prosperity of the Ming Dynasty's market culture. It was also during this period that in some parts of southern China, Su made hardwood furniture appeared.

At first, Su Zuo furniture mainly used the local abundance of eucalyptus as the raw material in the Jiangnan area. After the middle and late Ming Dynasty, more wood such as huanghua pear and chicken wing wood were used. Especially after the active advocacy and direct participation of the literati in the late Ming Dynasty, the fashionable furniture represented by Huanghua Pear quickly became popular.

The best way to explain this phenomenon is the record in Fan Wei’s "Clouds in the Clouds": "The fine wood guys, such as desks, meditation chairs, etc., have not seen the teenagers. The folks use the ginkgo lacquer square table. Mo Tinghan and Gu and Song, two sons, used a few pieces of fine wood, and also bought them from Wumen. Since Long, Wan, although the slaves of the fast-moving family, all use the fine tools, and the small carpenter of the emblem, the ranks In the rule of the county, that is, dowry and miscellaneous utensils, all belong to the genus. The luxuries are extravagant, and the eucalyptus is not expensive. The tables and tables of the bed are made of rosewood, eucalyptus, ebony, acacia and boxwood. It’s also a singularity. It’s also a blame. For example, if the soap is so close, it’s a whole small raft, packed in wood, and the potted fish in the court. In the study, I didn’t know how to read the book.”

This paragraph of text at least provides us with the following information:

First, Fan Yu was born in Jiajing in the 19th year (1540). If he was 16 years old as his boyhood, then his boyhood should be in Jiajing thirty-five years, that is, 1556. At least before this, desks, meditation chairs and other fine wood furniture (naturally including huanghuali furniture, that is, the rosewood furniture in the book), Songjiang area is still rare, only the ginkgo lacquered square table can be seen by the folk.

Second, Songjiang began with Mo Tinghan (No. Long, Wanli Shiren) and Gu and Song, and only a few pieces of fine wood furniture purchased from Suzhou. Fine wood furniture can be understood as a variety of wood, except for the ginkgo lacquered square table. Although it may include eucalyptus (ie eucalyptus) furniture, it refers more to various hardwood furniture represented by huanghuali. . And it has been clearly pointed out here that the fine wood furniture was bought from Suzhou. It can be seen that Suzhou has become the manufacturing center and distribution center of Ming style furniture.

Third, since the Long (Qing) million (calendar), the fine wood furniture represented by Huanghuali was popular.

The Ming Dynasty furniture represented by Huanghua Pear is not only complete in variety, but also has many styles and materials. The shape is simple and generous, the production is rigorous and accurate, the structure is reasonable and standardized, and the stable and distinct "Ming-style" furniture style is gradually formed. The furniture of this period, whether it is the production process or the artistic attainment, has reached the peak of its peak and become one of the most artistically appealing pieces in the history of furniture art development in China and the world.

The reason why Ming Dynasty furniture represented by Huanghua Pear can reach its peak in the history of furniture in China and the world is caused by many factors. In general, the progress of the handicraft industry, the development of overseas trade, the emergence of capitalism and other social factors are all important conditions for the furniture to reach the peak of the development of Chinese classical furniture in the late Ming and early Qing dynasties. Specifically, it generally includes four aspects.

First, the development of handicraft industry in the Ming Dynasty, especially the emergence of various professional and technical books, has greatly promoted the formation of Ming Dynasty hardwood furniture style represented by Huanghua Pear. In the middle of the Ming Dynasty, due to the rapid development of the feudal economy, the handicraft industry in the southeast coast of China gradually became prosperous. Not only has the number of employees increased, but the craftsmanship has also improved rapidly. At the same time, a variety of professional books that guide the production of furniture have emerged. For example, Huang Cheng’s “Decoration Record”, Wen Zhenheng’s “Long Story”, Gao Song’s “Zunsheng Gossip”, etc., especially the appearance of “Lu Ban Jing Yi Jia Jing”, greatly promoted the furniture. The improvement of design and production process has enriched the theoretical basis of furniture production.

Second, the rapid development of overseas trade provided material conditions for the prosperity of Ming Dynasty hardwood furniture represented by Huanghua Pear. In the early period of the Ming Dynasty, due to the advancement of shipbuilding technology and the invention and use of compass needles, it created favorable conditions for the rapid development of overseas trade. For example, during the Yongle to Xuande period, in order to promote the national prestige, the three treasures of the eunuch Zheng He was sent to the Western Ocean seven times. The scale of the voyage, the long distance of the voyage, the length of time, and the frequent trips were rare in the history of world navigation. Zheng He went to the Western Ocean seven times, which greatly strengthened the relationship between the Ming Dynasty and the Western countries. Communicating the maritime trade channel, the “Silk Road” at sea is also wanted.

The development of the economy and the stability of the society have made the ruling class increasingly arrogant and extravagant, and have generated great demand for imported goods. After the “Longqing Switch”, a large number of high-quality woods have continuously entered China. In this context, the huanghuali wood that grew overseas has entered China through Laos and Vietnam. The huanghuali wood produced in Hainan Island, China, was also able to land across the sea, and then entered the elegant palace of the Beijing Imperial Palace. One of the outstanding features of hardwood furniture in the Ming Dynasty is the excellent material. It can be said that the rapid development of overseas trade has provided sufficient material conditions for the prosperity of Ming Dynasty furniture, especially Huanghuali furniture.

Third, the speed of urban construction has greatly promoted the rapid rise of Ming Dynasty hardwood furniture represented by Huanghua Pear. In the middle of the Ming Dynasty, the rapid development of agriculture and handicraft industry and the prosperity of the commodity economy prompted the rapid development of urban construction. The government and wealthy businessmen competed to build luxury houses, gardens and homes, which greatly increased the demand for hardwood furniture.

Fourth, the revolution in furniture manufacturing tools, especially the appearance of flat wood tool planes, played a role in fueling the rise of hardwood furniture in the Ming Dynasty. It can be said that among all woodworking tools in China, the flat wood tool plane appeared the latest. China's important scientific and technological works, such as "Heavenly Creations" and "Luban Classics", all clearly have plans, but these books were published after the Wanli. For example, the frame saw has been in the Song Dynasty. For example, the Qingming Shanghe Map has its image data, but we can't find a plane inside it. It can be seen that the plane appeared in China in the middle and late 16th century. We know that without a plane, we can't flatten hardwood. Why have you used lacquer furniture in the past? It is because the wood is not flat, it is necessary to put on the ash, put the putty on the paint, and cover the uneven place. Just like today's people make up the same foundation. The invention of the plane can be said to be the most important tool revolution in the history of Chinese woodworking. In China, it is precisely because of the appearance of flat wood planes that it is possible to quickly occupy the market with hardwood furniture.

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