A set of Folding Chinese Screens Carving Chinese Screens with Four Gentlemen
Lot No. ：ZQNF-181212
Feature：Four folding Chinese screens (1*), carving "Four Gentlemen"(2*), Phoebe zhennan S. Lee (3*)，mortise and tenon (4*)
Status：For sale (Item is customizable)
1* A folding screen is a type of free-standing furniture. It consists of several frames or panels, which are often connected by hinges or by other means. It can be made in a variety of designs and with different kinds of materials. Folding screens have many practical and decorative uses. It originated from ancient China, eventually spreading to the rest of East Asia, Europe, and other regions of the world.Screens date back to China during the Eastern Zhou period (771-256 BCE). These were initially one-panel screens in contrast to folding screens. Folding screens were invented during the Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE). Folding screens were originally made from wooden panels and painted on lacquered surfaces, eventually folding screens made from paper or silk became popular too. During the Tang dynasty, folding screens were considered ideal ornaments for many painters to display their paintings and calligraphy on. Many artists painted on paper or silk and applied it onto the folding screen. The landscape paintings on folding screens reached its height during the Song dynasty (960–1279). In the 17th and 18th centuries, many folding screens were being imported from China to Europe. The famous fashion designer Coco Chanel was an avid collector of Chinese folding screens and is believed to have owned 32 folding screens, of which eight were housed in her apartment at 31 rue Cambon, Paris. Some of the first uses of folding screens were rather practical. They were used to prevent draft in homes, as indicated by the two characters in their Chinese name: píng (屏 "screen; blocking") and feng (風 "breeze, wind"). They were also used to bestow a sense of privacy; in classical times, folding screens were often placed in rooms to be used as dressing screens for ladies. Folding screens can be set up to partition a large room and change the interior features of the space. Screens may be used as a false wall near the entrance from one room to another to create a desirable atmosphere by hiding certain features like doors to a kitchen. As many folding screens have fine artistic designs and art on them, they can fit well as decorative items in the interior design of a home.
2* In Chinese art, the Four Gentlemen, also called the Four Noble Ones, are four plants: the plum blossom, the orchid, the bamboo, and the chrysanthemum. The term compares the four plants to Confucianist junzi, or "gentlemen". They are most typically depicted in traditional ink and wash painting and they belong to the category of bird-and-flower painting in Chinese art. The Four Gentlemen have been used in Chinese painting since the time of the Song dynasty (960–1279) because of their refined beauty, and were later adopted elsewhere in East Asia by artists in Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. As they represent the four different seasons (the plum blossom for winter, the orchid for spring, the bamboo for summer, and the chrysanthemum for autumn), the four are used to depict the unfolding of the seasons through the year.
3* Phoebe Zhennan is a large species of tree up to 30 metres tall in the Lauraceae family. Zhennan was originally a Chinese word that related to its Chinese name 楠 (Nan). The species is under second-class national protection in China. They were so valuable that only royal families could afford to use them. Notably, whole logs of Phoebe zhennan wood have been used in the construction of the Forbidden City. Especially when they are semi-fossilized and become 乌木 (Wu Mu, "Black Wood"), the price on 2012 market could be as high as over $10,000 per cubic meter.
4* The mortise and tenon joint has been used for thousands of years by woodworkers around the world to join pieces of wood, mainly when the adjoining pieces connect at an angle of 90°. In its basic form it is both simple and strong. This is an ancient joint dating back 7,000 years. In traditional Chinese architecture, wood components, such as beams, brackets, roof frames and struts, were made to interlock with perfect fit, without using fasteners or glues, enabling the wood to expand and contract according to humidity. Archaeological evidence from Chinese sites shows that, by the end of the Neolithic, mortise-and-tenon joinery was employed in Chinese construction.
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