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Source: China State Council Information Office 3

Young visitors get up close with the exhibits at the Beijing Tianzhu Huanghuali Art Museum. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Beijing museum showcases some of the finest examples of rosewood furniture from the Ming and Qing dynasties.

In the late Ming (1368-1644) and early Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, rare huanghuali wood, also known as fragrant rosewood, was one of the preferred materials for making furniture that would be used by Chinese literati.

Wang Shixiang (1914-2009), an antique collector, connoisseur and himself a learned man, defined pieces fashioned from valuable hardwood during the period as Ming furniture, and collected more than 80 examples of it during his lifetime.

Visitors can view his personal collection at the Shanghai Museum. However, the newly opened Beijing Tianzhu Huanghuali Art Museum goes further with its exhibition of Ming furniture, most of which is made of huanghuali wood. The collection comprises 370 pieces, a figure that the museum says is expected to increase in the future.

According to Yu Feng, director of the museum, Ming furniture was mainly made in Beijing, North China’s Shanxi province, South China’s Guangdong province, and areas in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River with Suzhou city, East China’s Jiangsu province, as the center of production. Most exhibits at the museum are Suzhou-style furniture.

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