What is Huanghuali Furniture?
July 14 2010

huanghuali timberHuanghuali furniture, the term in Chinese furniture literally means "yellow flowering pear wood furniture". Huanghuali is a member of the rosewood family and is botanically classified as Dalbergia odorifera. In pre-modern times the wood was known as huali or hualu. The modifier huang (yellowish-brown) was added in the early twentieth century to describe old huali wood whose surfaces had mellowed to a yellowish tone due to long exposure to light.  

The best huanghuli furniture was made during Mid Ming dynasty and late Qianlong Emperor of Qing dynasty. It was exclusively used by the imperial family, and the awarded officials. Only highly-skilled craftsmen were allowed to make furniture from the wood. It is also difficult to find large pieces of the Huanghuali, because the tree trunk often curls and twists as it grows. Therefore, furniture made from a single large piece of the wood is rare.

Huanghuali is a slow-growing tree. A twelve-inch trunk takes about 100 years to grow. Since mid Qing dynasty, the materials of huanghuali became less and less to almost disappear. So till now, we can hardly see furniture made of huanghuali and few huanghuali furniture left. Because of its rarity and quality, huanghuali furniture is one of the most precious and expensive furniture.

The color of Huanghuali wood is perfect – neither too subdued nor too showy and its grain is beautiful. It is always used as bed, table and chair. But today it is hard to see one piece of late time or present replica huanghuali furniture. This throne chair below is a rare collection from furniture-cn, which was displayed in the 23rd International Famous Furniture Fair. 

huanghuali chair

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