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Subject:Identify ?Zitan? wood stand
Posted By: John Cooper Sat, Mar 23, 2019 IP:

I seek help in identifying Chinese wood 32" high triform stand, very heavy, shown in photos.
Decorative element removed for testing has specific gravity of 1.136; fresh sliver removed from back of that stains methanol-cloth = Red; typical Chinese carpentry construction using mortise & tenon joints, small wood pins, no glue; shrinkage between 3 top elements = 100+ years of drying; no sour smell when underside rubbed vigorously = not hungmu; no sweet smell = not (huang)huali. Correct so far?
Can this then be Zitan?
Your comments would be very appreciated.
Thank you, ...John.

Subject:Re: Identify ?Zitan? wood stand
Posted By: Kirk Sat, Jan 15, 2022

No sorry not Zitan.
These were made for the export market in the furniture district of Gunagdong during the late 19th century, and are typically made of hongmu. There are 32 official hongmu species, and although Red Sandalwood / Zitan is among the group of 32 species on Chinas' National Hongmu Register, these stands were not made for the imperial household.
The English - being English; mis-pronounced Guangdong as Canton way back when, and the name kinda just stuck.
We therefore call this furniture Cantonese.
Most of it is Dalbergia melanoxylon / common name Blackwood, or there are many (as I have said) other candidates in the Dalbergia or Pterocarpus genera that your jardiniere stand is likely made. All of them with very similar qualities. None of them Pterocarpus santalinus / Zitan - reserved for the Emperor and Chinese Royal Household. | Associations | Articles | Exhibitions | Galleries |