Archives for posts with tag: architecture

roof lion roof lionL230xW80xH230mm, China

This little monster is the son of the dragon, his name is Suan Ni.  He loves smokes and incense and normally found on the incense burner, as he also loves sitting around Suan Ni is one of the monsters that resides on the roof.  Unlike his brother Chi Wen who loves looking a far and occupies the two ends of the main ridge, Suan Ni sits with the other 4 monsters on the hip of the roof.

The Phoenix Riding Saint – the brother in law of Jiang Zi Ya, who is always nagging Jiang for a promotion in his sainthood.  Jiang, in charge of the appointment of saints put him at the end of the ridge, meaning that anything higher will cause him to fall off the roof.


Followed by the 5 roof hip monsters;

Pheonix – a mythical creature, the queen of all birds.
Suan Ni – the on of dragon who sit around and loves smokes and incense.
Xia Yu – a sea monster, together with Suan Ni, they can control the weather and protect the building.
Xie Zhi – part eagle part leopard, eating all the bad guys, a symbol of justice.
Dou Niu – a type of dragon, able to control the rain.

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roof decoDIA80xH130mm, China

This green glazed capsule is actually part of the architectural feature, Bao Ding, a feature that completed the apex of a pitched roof that has four or more sides or circular.  It is a detail for closing off the standard ridge tiling enabling a rain proof roofing, in some cases it is so the cover for the counter lighting device.  As it is highest point of a building, like the spire of the tower, it is usually of a larger size.  I suspected this bao ding was that for a smaller decorative architecture, perhaps one in the garden, that require a smaller size.

window lattice

W460xH1030mm, China

   These wooden window lattices belonged to the houses of Hui Zhou, an area with elaborated civilian architecture brought on by the wealth of the successful merchants in the area.  The Hui style architecture is unique, a combination of the local stilt houses and official northern courtyard houses, suiting to the southern climate, resulted in 2 stories courtyard houses with the living area directly opened to the inner courtyard with no wall or door in between, hence the courtyard which open up to the sky becomes part of the living area.  This pair of window lattice would have been used for the ground floor bedroom facing the living area.  They would have belonged to a humble family, though the craftsmanship is not as elaborated as that of the Yin Yu Tang, it is entirely put together by notches and without the use of a single nail.

See the Yin Yu Tang, a house transported from Hui Zhou to the  Peabody Essex Museum.

W470xD370xH950mm, China

This is one chair from a pair.  This type of chair is known as “chair with armrest, scroll style headrest with guai zi dragon pattern”, my translate is not perfect but believe me the Chinese name is equally as long.  The armrest need no explanation, the scroll style headrest refers to the top of the head board that turns in at the back similar to that of the old Chinese scroll.  The head board is decorated with relief carving panels of blessing symbols.  The guai zi dragon is the pattern that forms the back and the armrest of the chair, it is also echoed as a decoration on front of the seat and at bottom of the legs.  Guai zi dragon is a pattern that is commonly used in furniture and architectural decoration; it is broadly divided into 2 styles, a more realistic type where from pattern one can tell the head and claws of the dragon where the dragon is usually quite animated and a more conceptual style (as on this chair).

This type of chair was popular from the middle Qing dynasty, particularly in the Southern region of China.  It is normally placed in the study, on the 2 sides of the table or facing the table.

Come and see our collection of Chinese lattice!
please see the entry Lattice

W530xH1020mm, China

This wooden lattice was part a building, these lattices featured in all traditional Chinese buildings, temples, courts, residential house, etc.  They are the upper part of the door which is responsible for letting light into the house.  Its a kind of a window, you could say.  Buildings are measured by the unit of Jian, and for each jian there will be 4 lattice door.  The whole door is of the proportion 1:3 or 1:4.  The door is divided into 3 parts, the top is the lattice Ge Shan, the middle is Yao Chuan, the lower part is Zhang Shui Ban.  The lattice is constructed by joinery and most often with a miter joint.  Danial Sheets Dye’s Chinese Lattice Design has a lot of information regarding the Chinese lattice, it was first published in 1937!