The Secret of Chinese Furniture

Ming style wine table

Chinese furniture joineryThe key element of traditional Chinese furniture is its use of intricate joinery, the heritage for which can be found in ancient Chinese architecture. After centuries of practice, traditional cabinetmakers in China perfected a joinery system for crafting solid timber furniture that did not require the use of screws or nails.  The frame of the furniture uses interlocking mortise and tenon joints.  The panels float within the frame using tongue and groove joints and secured by cross braces.

This method of construction allows for movement with changes in humidity and explains why the furniture can survive for centuries.

At some point in time, due to age and wear, all furniture needs restoration to ensure that it can continue to be used as it was originally intended.  The advantage of Chinese joinery is that the furniture can be fully disassembled for necessary repair and then reassembled with little compromise on integrity.

Here at Humble House we pride ourselves on handling only authentic Chinese furniture that has all the hallmarks of traditional design and construction. Our own craftsmen are dedicated to a conservation-based approach to any work with a careful eye to maintain its original proportions and preserve the existing patina.

Humble House has the only museum in Australia with a mounted display of pieces that reveals the complex joinery used in Chinese furniture. You are most welcome to visit and admire our collection.