Colorful Tibetan Ancient Furniture
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Colorful Tibetan Ancient Furniture

Update: Feb. 26th, 2013

Tibetan Ancient Furniture

Tibetan ancient furniture mainly includes Tibetan desk, Tibetan cupboard and box. The amount of Tibetan ancient furniture is small. In the past, except high officials and noble lords, common Tibetan families almost did not use any furniture. Presently, almost Tibetan ancient furniture on market is from monastery. They come down from Ming and Qing Dynasties. When you have Tibet tour, you can see various Tibetan acnient furniture on Barkhor Street and other places.

Colorful Tibetan Ancient Furniture – Tibetan Cupboard

Tibetan cupboard is the most common and practical Tibetan furniture in Tibetan families. The structure of Tibetan cupboard is almost same in essentials while differing in minor points, but the size includes big and small. It is used to store various things, such as foods, instruments for religious activities, etc. In terms of size and usage, Tibetan cupboard is similar with present chest of drawers. But doors of Tibetan cupboard open from middle part. The two sides of door are pivot construction. The doors stick in recess so that they can be closed agilely.

Colorful Tibetan Ancient Furniture – Tibetan Desk

Tibetan desk is the earliest furniture in Tibetan families. It has various appearances and structures. Both in noble families and in common families, Tibetan desk is the most common furniture. It is used to place foods, store tea set, kitchenware and some other things. There are short Tibetan desks which are scripture desk. This kind of Tibetan desk is used to store scriptures and religious instruments.

Colorful Tibetan Ancient Furniture – Tibetan Box

Tibetan box originated from around 17th century. It is also the furniture which appeared in Tibetan families in early period. Later, it was replaced by Tibetan cupboard. In terms of size and usage, Tibetan box is similar with present camphorwood chest. About colorful paintings on Tibetan boxes, some of them were painted on the plank directly; some of them were painted on a level of gunny cloth on the plank; and some of them were covered by a level of luting on the gunny cloth so that the painting will not drop. All of these show distinctive characteristics of Tibetan ancient furniture.

Colorful Tibetan Ancient Furniture - Characteristics

The decorative patterns of Tibetan ancient furniture are very special, rich and colorful, almost including colorful painting, inlay (such as turquoise, corallite and jewelries), carvings, covering with animal fur, etc. Because Tibetan life is almost related with religion, almost Tibetan furniture is covered by colorful paintings. The patterns on Tibetan furniture trustily recorded religious totem and historical legend. These patterns make Tibetan furniture full of stories on the quiet snow-covered plateau. At the same time, the patterns of colorful painting also learn widely from others strong points. The most common patterns include dragon patterns, auspicious animal patterns, plant patterns, thunder and clouds patterns, geometrical patterns, etc. These patterns almost are related with wealth and good luck. The techniques of painting on Tibetan furniture are rich with layers and strong with folk characteristics. Different from the hardwood used in Ming and Qing Dynasties, the materials used by Tibetan furniture almost were cedar, birch, cottonwood and cork wood on the Himalayas. In addition, there is a small amount of Tibetan furniture with simple carving used plateau hardwood. But they are rarely seen.

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