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Chinese Furniture sourcing Spring visit to Shanghai and Beijing

Chinese furniture antique

Our latest visit to China for sourcing more Chinese Furniture and other unique oriental interior design goodies has been a great success. Our itinerary was jam packed with exciting cities and excursions and we had a very tight schedule which seemed to go too smoothly. Chinese transport is so reliable and affordable, unlike the UK 😉

We flew into Shanghai on May 18th and stayed at this wonderful boutique art hotel for the first week. We visited some of our contacts and found some very interesting established and authentic antique shops among the clutter, where we sourced some smaller ornamental antique pieces for our shop. We also visited some of Xiuli’s old friends who treated us to some fine dining in some of the top restaurants in Shanghai. And I must say at this point, the wine choices in some of the restaurants in Shanghai just get better and better. It was great to mix a bit of pleasure with work and all of Xiuli’s friends were very friendly and welcoming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After our rewarding visit to Shanghai, we took time out to visit Huangshan in Anhui province to climb the Great Yellow Mountain. This is highly recommended if you are ever visiting China. The views were limited due to the cloud cover, but all the same they were overwhelming. Some of the tracks were a bit precarious as there were no safety railings on some parts and the drop was thousands of feet down a sheer rock face in parts. The beauty of the scenery took away the fear somewhat. We stayed in a hotel right on the peak of the mountain which was a once in a lifetime experience. The following morning, we hiked down the other side of the Yellow Mountain to meet our taxi and catch our Bullet Train to Jingdezhen to find some ceramics and other antiques for the shop. Jingdezhen is famous for it’s kilns and ceramics and still produces pottery in the old traditional ways from many of the ancient lost kilns throughout China, but you must know where to look. There was so much to explore in Jingdezhen, we just didn’t have enough time. We will be back for another visit maybe next year. We were still able to find a few beautiful pieces for our shop in the short time we were there.

 

 

 

 

 

The following day we flew up to Beijing to meet a few of our restored furniture suppliers and antique dealers. We also visited one of the top Chinese antique auction houses to have a few personal pieces valued and were pleasantly surprised. When we choose some of our older pieces, it helps that Xiuli’s brother in law has been dealing with Chinese antiques all of his life, so his advice is invaluable, and he is always at hand to help us with our acquisitions. The following day we travelled with one of our suppliers to Shandong province by bullet train to their restoration workshops and warehouses. This was an exciting stage of our visit, because we get to see the furniture before it is restored and at this point we will choose which pieces we would like them to restore for us. So, we actually do have an input all along the way. We can even choose the colour and finish if we wish. We did find some stunning pieces with a lot of character on this visit. It pays to come to China to hand pick each individual piece. This way we can stand out from other suppliers in the UK as we know what the UK customer has in way of artistic values and interior design ideas.

Chinese furniture antique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a long trip back from Shandong province by car we ate street food and went to bed, to get up bright and early for our visit to one of our favourite artists who paints some of our zen ink art for the shop, Lao Yu. He welcomed us into his studio and we spent a while looking through some of his astounding art collection. We chose quite a few of them for the shop. He then enthusiastically showed us his process and painted us two personal gifts as a thank you present. It was delightful to watch and an honour for such a welcome. It was a shame to have to leave because Lao Yu and his daughter were such wonderful people, we could have talked for hours.

So, we returned to Beijing and took time to walk around the hidden antique areas with Xiuli’s Brother and Brother-in-Law, whose knowledge and negotiating skills were invaluable. Without them, my western face would have demanded 10x the price that they actually negotiated for us.

In between all of our travelling and work duties we did allow plenty of time to eat traditional Chinese Cuisine. Some which was a desired taste, but mostly world quality scrumptious flavoursome food. Stinky Tofu is the one I wanted to try most, but I won’t be trying it again 😉

 

 

 

 

 

A very productive and enjoyable visit this Spring and some extraordinary experiences. We have arranged our new shipment, and everything will arrive in the UK late August – mid September dependent on shipping conditions and weather. You will not be disappointed.

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Our Shop in Bristol for your Interior Design

Restored Chinese Furniture Interior Design

Hidden away in The Clifton Arcade in Clifton Village you can find Nook Deco. Specialising in Asian Art, Chinese Historic Restored Furniture and Home Decor and Interior Design Furniture. Sourcing unique items whilst travelling in the Far East, Nook Deco stocks many one off statement pieces, well suited to any contemporary or traditional space. The perfect place for ideas for your interior designs.

If you are looking for an original art piece or sculpture, Console Table or Wardrobe, Reproduction Fine Art Song, Ming, Qing Dynasty Vases from the famous JingDeZhen Kiln, Nook Deco may have what you are looking for and much, much more. And we won’t forget those Chinese Silk Tassels to finish off your furniture. They are exquisite.

A must visit for that something a little different. A unique boutique shopping experience nestled amongst 15 other lovely speciality, not on the high street, Art and Gift shops.

www.nookdeco.co.uk

No. 9 The Clifton Arcade, Boyce’s Avenue, Clifton, Bristol. BS8 4AA. Tel. 0117 973 5182

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A bit about our furniture

Most of our older furniture originates from long-standing family homes in the towns and villages of the Chinese provinces. Our local Chinese contacts obtain any unwanted furniture and articles of historical interest by going from home to home and village to village asking to buy any older unwanted items. These old pieces are sent back to the carpenter’s workshop in Beijing and with their years of experience and attention to detail are brought back to life with traditional craftsmanship and materials, and still retain all the character, charm and historical markings of bygone years. Some pieces can be as old as 150yrs or more and we date each piece as accurately as we can. Most furniture pieces are classed as ‘restored’ antique, which means we can import some of the older pieces. We offer these beautiful items of furniture to you at face value, for their pure elegance and visual appeal rather than for their antique value. It is still intriguing to know most items have a history and have been lovingly owned in long established family homes from the past. Some from as far back as 200yrs, well into the last Empire, Qing Dynasty which collapsed in 1912.

On occasion, we may offer some genuine antiques in their original state (unrestored) if we find them in exceptional condition. These can be anything up to 150yrs, again from the Qing Dynasty, through the Chinese Revolution of 1911 (The Xinhai Revolution) and through the Chinese Communist Revolution of 1949 right through to the modern day. To imagine that some of these gorgeous unique items have existed and even survived through all that modern history is just astonishing, given that most things of value had been destroyed by the communist regime.

We will also be stocking a few nice replica pieces of furniture which are newly made in the old Chinese style, which are each handmade in solid wood to a very high standard of workmanship from our good friend Mr Li who has his own family run carpentry business on the outskirts of Beijing. His work is exceptional. All his furniture is made by using Chinese old traditional mortise and tenon carpentry. There are no nails or screws used to join these pieces of furniture.

To enhance and beautify your furniture we have the pleasure in offering some beautiful brass and bronze sculptures from well-known Chinese Artists along with some paintings, pictures, statues, Chinese traditional tassels and other homeware in the Chinese traditional style.