M - Z
ailao: Pillar-shaped strut.
aimianpenjia: Washbasin stand. See also mianpenjia.
aizhuozhantuishi: Low table with extended legs. Low waisted table which is transformed into a high table by adding round extensions to the square legs.
an: Recessed-leg table.
anchouti: Hidden drawers, opened by raising from underneath rather than with a pull.
aomian: Concave moulding; also dawa or wamian.
babuchuang: Alcove bedstead.
baibaoqian: One-hundred-precious-material inlay.
bancaodi: Half-and-half relief. The most common type of relief carving with relief and ground occupying about the same amount of space.
banzhuo: Half table, slightly larger than half an Eight Immortals table.
baogu: Embracing drums. The drum-shaped elements at the top of a shoe-foot used to hold the spandrels of screens, clothes racks and lampstands in position.
baojiansun: Embracing-shoulder tenon. A mitred joint used in waisted furniture of the corner-leg construc-tion to attach the leg and apron. A concealed triangular-shaped tenon in the apron fits into a mortise in the leg. Simultaneously a concealed long and vertical dovetailed tenon slides into a mortise in the apron.
baotawen: Pagoda pattern. Term used in Suzhou to describe the natural grain of ju wood.
baoxiang: Complete veneer, a hardwood veneer covering the entire piece of furniture.
baozuo: Throne, for emperor or god.
baozuoshi jingtai: Throne-type mirror platform.
bawangcheng: Giant's arm brace, extending from the leg to the underside of the table top at a 45° angle.
baxianzhuo: Eight Immortals table. Square table suitable for seating eight people.
bianhuang: Tongue, on four sides of the floating panel of a table top.
bianma: Square or rectangular frame, consisting of two sides with tenons (dabian) and two sides with mortises (matou).
biaojiao: Fish glue, the best cabinetmaker's glue made from the air bladder of the yellow croaker fish.
bingpanyan: Ice-plate edge. General term for allinward-sloping mouldings.
bowen: Wave lattice. Term found in Yuan ye (The Art of the Garden) and also used for furniture.
bubugao gancheng: Stepped chair stretchers. Chair stretchers which are arranged with the front one lowest, the side ones higher, and the back one highest, so that the joints do not overlap.
cai: Lowering the surface of the wood. General term popular among craftsmen.
caolong: Curling limbed dragon. Stylized dragon pattern in which the legs and tail turn into curls, derived from the curling tendril design.
cejiao: Splayed legs. Term borrowed from ancient architecture (where it describes the splay of pillars at the base) to describe the slight splay of furniture legs at their base.
chaji: Tea table. High table derived from the Ming incense table and popular in Qing times.
chajiansun: Inserted shoulder joint. One of the essential joints of the recessed-leg construction. The upper part of the leg is split to form two tenoned pieces; the front one is made shoulder-like so that it can be inserted into cavities in the apron. When the joint is in place the surfaces of leg and apron are flush.
chandi fudiao: Relief carving on smoothed ground.
changdeng: Long bench, general term.
changfangdeng: Rectangular stool.
chanzhi lianwen: Scrolling lotus design.
chaoyigui: Court costume cabinet. Compound wardrobe in four parts with side panels. A kind of sijiangui with panels between the doors and outer frames which make the wardrobe wide enough for court costumes to be placed inside without being folded.
chapingshi zuopingfeng: Removable-panel screen set in a stand, the panel having tongues which can be slid in and out of grooves in the vertical pillars.
chengzi: Stretcher. Member used mainly to connect two legs.
chihu nao lingzhi: Hornless dragons inter-twined with Iingzhi fungus.
chiwen: Stylized hornless dragon design.
choutijia: Drawer frame, put inside a cabinet or shelf to hold the drawers.
choutilian: Front of a drawer.
choutizhuo: Narrow table with drawers.
chu: Cabinet, southern term for gui, which is more current in the north.
chuandai: Penetrating transverse brace, which fits into a groove in the floating panel.
chuang: Bed, which in China is used for daytime sitting as well as sleeping. General term for both large and small beds.
chuangweizi: Railing on Luohan and canopy bed.
chuanyijing: Full-length mirror, a type derived from a screen set into a base which became popular during he Qing dynasty.
chundeng: Large bench. In south China the term refers to a bench for two or more people. Northerners use this term only for a bench for more than two people.
cuan: To join.
cuan dou: Latticework. Literally joining the straight and assembling the curved, two methods of making lattice. General term which is a contraction of cuanjie and doucu.
cuan yazi: Apron or apron and spandrel made by joining the straight.
cuanbian dacao zhuangban: Assembling a mortised-and-tenoned frame with floating panel. This is done by first making a groove all around the inner edge of the frame and then inserting the tongue of the panel.
cuanbian zhuangban weizi: Railing of a Luohan bed consisting of frames with inset panels.
cuanjie: Joining the straight. Term used for the method of making a lattice from short straight pieces of wood, placed vertically, horizontally, and sometimes diagonally, and mortised and tenoned together. The resulting lattice may have square or rounded corners.
cuanjie weizi: Bed railing made by joining the straight.
daban shu'an: Board and stand desk, consisting of a top resting on two separate stands with drawers which originally were not intended to be used apart from the table.
dabian: Tenon-bearing frame member. If the frame is rectangular the term refers to the two long pieces with tenons; if square, it indicates the two tenon-bearing members; if round, each piece is called a dabian.
dafang gangxiang: Large square box carried on a pole. Term used in Lu Ban jing (Lu Ban's Classic) for a large picnic box.
dai: Transverse brace, which always connects the tenon-bearing frame members. General term which includes the penetrating transverse brace and the curved transverse brace.
daikou: Dovetailed groove for the penetrating trans-verse brace on the back of a floating panel.
dalishi: Marble, and in particular Dali marble, from Mount Diancang in the Dali District of Yunnan Province.
da'nao: Top rail. Highest rail on the back of a chair. The term also refers to the highest horizontal member of any frame, such as a clothes rack or towel rack.
dangban: Inset panel on a recessed-leg table with side panels. It usually has openwork carving finished on both sides and sits on a side floor stretcher or base stretchers.
daoleng: Rounding the edges. Procedure done to soften the sharp edges of a member.
dawa: Concave moulding; also called aomian or wamian.
dayeyu: Large leaf elm, a kind of ju wood; also called juyu.
deng: Stool. Also wudeng.
dengcaoxian: Beading, a rounded moulding.
Dengcao: are rushes used as lampwicks.
dengguayi: Lamp-hanger chair. Side chair wkh a high narrow bacic resembling the bamboo lamp hangers commonly used in south China.
diaopai: Metal pull.
diaotou: Protruding end. The part of the top of recessed-leg table which extends beyond the leg towards the sides.
dicheng: Lowest stretcher on a cabinet.
dingxiang: Upper part of a compound wardrobe in four parts.
dingxiang ligui: Compound wardrobe in four parts, consisting of two lower cabinets and two upper cabinets; also called sijiangui.
diping' : Platform. Large low wooden platform, usually square, placed in a room to hold furniture. When used for an alcove bed it is slightly larger than the bed. Very large ones are for a screen and throne.
dou: Assembly of more than two members.
doubainan: Burl of nan wood; also toubainan, the term used in Gegu yaolun (The Essential Criteria of Antiquities).
doucu: Assembling the curved, a term for the method of making a lattice unit from large or small curved pieces of wood joined together by loose tenons.
doucu weizi: Luohan bed railing lattice made by assembling the curved; or Luohan bed railing lattice made by assembling the curved together with joining the straight.
dougongshi: Bracket model, a type of spandrel inspired by architectural members.
duanwen: Crack patterns, the fortuitous designs formed of small cracks on the surface of aged lacquer.
dubanmian: Solid board top, found most often on narrow rectangular tables with recessed legs, trestle tables, and benches whose top is not made with a frame.
dubanweizi: Solid board railing.
duchengpan or dushengpan or duzhenpan: Desk tray or desk treasure tray, for holding the treasures (the paraphernalia used in calligraphy and painting) on a scholar's desk.
dunzi: Shoe-foot. Horizontal, usually bridge-shaped, piece of wood supporting a vertical member of a screen, clothes rack or lampstand. It tends to be large and includes the embracing drum.
duobian: Frame-thickening inserts. Separate pieces of wood added, mainly for aesthetic reasons, beneath the four sides of a frame of a table top in order to increase its height. They are commonly found on tables and stools, often on the type with leg-encircling stretcher, or with three spandrels to one leg, and a humpbacked stretcher. The inserts are less deep than the frame members and thus give the illusion of a thick frame without having its weight.
duoyun shuangchiwen: Cloud surrounded by confronting dragons motif.
fangdeng: Square stool.
fangjiaogui: Square-corner cabinet. Usually a metal hinged cabinet with very little or no splay, and in which each of the four corners forms a right angle.
fangzhuo: Square table. Term refers to tables of various sizes.
fengcheshi: Windmill lattice. Patterned on the shape of the windmill motif used in Chinese paper toys.
fenxinhua: Dividing-the-heart motif, the cusp in the middle of an apron.
fudiao: Relief carving.
fudiao toudiao jiehe: Relief and openwork carving. Term used when both types of decoration occur in a single piece.
fushou: Arms of a chair.
gaimian: Convex surface or moulding. Term used in Yingzao fashi (Building Standards) and by cabinetmakers today; also called hunmian and tumian.
gancheng: Changing the level of stretchers, in order to spread out the mortises. The term usually refers to the lower stretchers of chairs.
ganzhechuang: Sugar-cane squeezer.
gaogong luoguocheng: High humpbacked stretcher. Stretcher which often appears on the type of table with three spandrels to one leg and on rectangular tables with recessed legs.
gaomianpenjia: Washbasin stand with towel rack. The two back legs are extended to form the towel rack.
gaosuoyao: High waist. On some examples the influence of a Buddhist pedestal is still discernible.
gaozhuo: High table.
gejian: Mitre; single or double.
gejiansun: Double-mitred tenon.
gongan: Recessed-leg altar table.
gongzhuo: Corner-leg altar table.
gouguadiansun: Hook-and-plug tenon joint, used to attach a giant's arm brace to the leg. The slightly hooked tenon is secured in the mortise by a small block of wood placed beneath it.
gualengxian: Melon-shaped moulding, a ridge-shaped moulding used on legs. (When the leg is seen in section, it resembles the section of a fluted melon.) It is often found on waistless square tables and round-corner cabinets. Also called tiangualeng.
guanjiaotheng: Base stretcher, a bar placed just above the feet of a piece of furniture to hold the legs in position.
guanmaoyi: Official's hat armchair. Term includes the official's hat armchair with four protruding ends and the southern official's hat armchair. See also nanguanmaoyi.
guanpixiang: Dressing case, usually having a base with drawers, which are often behind doors, and a top consisting of a lidded tray.
guaxiao: Hanger tenon. Dovetail-shaped tenon on the top of a leg on which to hang the apron, usually as long as the apron.
guaya: Hanging spandrel. Spandrel whose length is greater than its width, and which narrows towards its lower edge.
guayan: Canopy lattice, around the top of a canopy bed.
guding: Bosses, the nail motifs on a drum stool.
gudun: Drum stool; also called zuodun.
gui: Cabinet, northern term for chu, which is more current in the south.
guibang: Side of a cabinet. Craftsmen's term.
guimao: Cabinet's cap, the top of a round-corner cabinet which protrudes beyond the side posts to allow for the wood hinged construction and which usually has rounded edges.
guimian: Devil's face. Term used in Gegu yaolun (The Essential Criteria of Antiquities) to describe a particular formation in the grain of huanghuali wood.
guisai: One-drawer coffer, literally the plug between two cabinets, because the coffer is often placed between a pair of cabinets or compound wardrobes in four parts.
guitang: Ridden compartment, occupying the space below the door and above the bottom board of a cabinet.
gundeng: Roller stool. Stool with movable rollers, used to exercise the feet.
guotuicheng: Leg-encircling stretcher. Stretcher continuing around the entire circumference of a piece, passing over the outside edges of the legs.
gutui: Bulging leg.
gutui pengya Convex apron and bulging leg ending in a horse-hoof foot. Term used by Beijing cabinetmakers and in the Qing Regulations.
hainantan: Daltergia hainanensis, the scientific name previously given to huanghuali wood.
haoziyi: Upward-tapering member, such as the side posts of an armchair.
hengcheng: Side stretcher, on rectangular tables.
hengguaizi: Short horizontal members on the base of a washbasin stand.
heye: Metal hinge.
heyetuo: Lotus-leaf support, often occurring on mirror stands.
hongmnu Hong wood. There are two kinds: old hong wood was the principal hardwood used by furniture makers from mid Qing times to the first quarter of the 20th century, and new hong wood is one of the main hardwoods used by furniture factories today.
huaan: Recessed-leg painting table. Large, wide rectangular table without drawers.
huali: Huali wood, Ormosia henryi. One of the main hardwoods used for furniture after the mid Qing dynasty.
hualu: Huali wood. Pre-Ming way of writing the term which at that time referred mainly to huanghuali wood.
huanghuali: Huanghuali wood, Dalbergia odorifera, the principal hardwood used for furniture from mid Ming until the first part of the Qing dynasty.
huangyang: Boxwood, Buxus microphylia, a dense yellowish wood.
huazhuo: Corner-leg painting table, a large, wide rectangular table without drawers.
huchuang: Barbarian seat. Earliest name for a cross-legged stool. It was imported from the west in the Eastern Han and is the ancestor of the folding stool and the folding armchair.
huiwen: Angular spirals, based on a motif resembling the archaic form of the character hui , repeated continuously.
hunmian: Convex surface or moulding. Term used in Yingzao fashi (Building Standards) and by cabinetmakers today. Also called gaimian and tumian.
huoxiao: Loose tenon.
huyanqian: Hole-protecting coin, a round coin-shaped metal disc used between the metal pivot and the surface of a piece of furniture as a protective device device against abrasion.
ji: Narrow waistless table, each side of which usually consists of a board meeting the top at right angles.
jiadi: Trousseau coffer, a common name for a coffer since a bride's trousseau was placed in it, tied with red strings, and carried to her new home.
jiage: Shelf; also tiban.
jiaji 'an: Trestle table. Long table supported by two separate stands.
jiaji shu'an: Wide trestle writing table on stands with drawers.
jiangxiang huangtan: Huanghuali wood, Dalbergia odorifera, new name given by Cheng Junqing.
jiangzhenxiang: Truth-bringing incense. A type of incense with which huanghuali wood is often compared in old texts.
jianjileng: Sword-ridge moulding. Moulding which slopes downwards from a central ridge. Lu Ban jing (Lu Ban's Classic) calls it jianjixian.
jianjin: Gold designs hammered into iron.
jianyin: Silver designs hammered into iron.
jiaochuang: Footstool. Song dynasty name for the footstool in front of chairs and beds. Also jiaota and tachuang.
jiaoquan: Continuous flow. The continuous connec-tion (upwards, downwards, sideways) of mouldings or the surfaces of different members in order to give the piece of furniture a unified appearance. This term is also used by architects and other craftsmen, especially for four-sided and curved forms.
jiaota: Footstool. Also jiaochuang and tachuang.
jiaowu: Folding stool; most commonly mazha.
jiaoyi: Folding chair.
jiasanshang: Pseudo thrice attached. See zhenliangshang.
jiatousun: Elongated bridle joint. This and the inserted shoulder joint are the two basic joints of the recessed-leg construction. The top of the leg has tenons, fitting into mortises in the tenon-bearing frame of the top, and a slot, into which the apron and apron-head spandrel can be inserted. Sometimes there are false elongated bridlejoints, with the outward appearance of an elongated bridle joint but constructed in other ways.
jiazichuang: Canopy bed.
jichimu: ichi wood. Hardwood with purplish-brown patterns, belonging to the Ormosia family.
jichimu: Chicken-wing wood, another name for jichi wood
jiezhuo: Extension table. When one Eight Immortals table is not enough, a table slightly larger than half its size, similar to a half table, is added to extend it.
Jindi fudiao: Relief carving on diaper ground.
jingjia: Mirror stand.
jingtai: Mirror platform.
jingxiang: Mirror box.
jingzi lingge: Well lattice. Lattice of a design centred around the character jing (well), and its variations.
jinshu shijian: Metalwork ornaments.
jitui jiage: Shelf supported by two separate stands.
jiuwo: Door pivot mortise.
jiuzhuo: Wine table. Small rectangular table used for wine and food.
jixiangcao: Lucky grass. Leaves forming a round motif which is often found on a decorative strut.
juancaowen: Curling tendril design.
juanshu: Scroll termination. Termination which appears on the sides of narrow waistless tables and splats or top rails of chairs. The term refers to the resemblance of the termination to a soft book when rolled up.
jumu: Ju wood, ancient simplifled form of ju Zelkova schneideriana, one of the semi-hard furniture woods imported in the Ming dynasty; known as southern elm in north China.
juyu: Large leaf elm, a kind ofju wood; also called dayeyu
kaiguang: Medallion, which may be empty or filled with carving or a recessed wood or stone panel.
kang: Chair-level bed, which is also sat on during the day, built-in against the wall of a room in north China. It is hollow and made of wood, bricks, or, in poorer house holds, unbaked clay with a brick top. Brick and clay kang can be heated from within. In the case of wooden kang which were used in the palace, the specially-made brick floor of the entire room was heated from underneath.
kang'an: Narrow recessed-leg kang table.
kanggui: Kang cabinets. Pair of small cabinets placed on the kang.
kangji: Narrow kang table, with either corner legs or solid board legs.
kangzhuo: Wide kang table. The usual proportion of the long to the short sides is three to two.
kanmian: Front, literally the show side of a piece of furniture or one of its members.
kaobei: Back of chair or throne, either splat or whole back.
kaobeiyi: Side chair.
kaolaoyang: Basket back. Song dynasty term referring to the armchair with circular armrest.
kuancai: The technique often used to decorate folding screens whereby lacquer is applied overall to a flat surface, and in areas within the outlines of the design a layer of lacquer is dug out and the resulting cavity is filled in with coloured lacquer or oil paint. Term used in Xiushilu (A Record qf Lacquer Art) for what antique dealers call dadiaotian. In the West, such pieces were known first as Bantam work, after the Dutch East India Company's port in Java, and from the 19th century as Coromandel lacquer, after the port on the southeast coast of India.
kunmen: Ornamental openings or medallions with cusped upper edges. In the Tang and Song dynasties these often appear on the platform construction and on Buddhist pedestals.
kunmen 'an: Large tables with ornamental openings on four sides. They existed as early as the Tang dynasty, as may be seen in, for example, the painting "The Court Musicians".
kunmenchuang: Box-construction bed, having a box-like base with wide panels containing ornamental openings with cusped upper edges or a single panel with one cusped upper-edge opening
lan 'gan: Railing.
lanshuixian: Water-stopping moulding. High moulding around the edge of a table to prevent spilt water or wine from soiling the user's clothes.
laojichimu: Old jichi wood.
loorong caigu: Floating panel with raised centre and recessed sides, so that despite its thickness it will still fit into the grooves of the frame. It is most often found on pieces dating from the mid Qing dynasty and later.
lashou: Pull, of any shape.
lianbanggun: Side posts of an armchair, literally the handle of a sickle; also liandaoba.
liandaoba: Side posts of an armchair, usually slightly curved and upward tapering; also lianbanggun.
lianerchu: Two-drawer coffer.
liangge: Open shelf.
lianggegui: Display cabinet, a cupboard with one or more open shelves.
liangjiao: Brightening-the-feet opening, found on the bottom of chair splats, and under folding screens and railings of Luohan beds.
liangjuan xiangdi: Abutting curls. Pair of back-to-back curls, often found on spandrels and stretchers.
liangmianzuo: Double-faced openwork, on which the carving is finished to the same degree on both sides.
liongzhuxiang: Two-incense-stick beading. Double row of beading down the centre of the leg of a recessed-leg table.
liansanchu: Three-drawer coffer.
ligui: Lower part of a compound wardrobe in four parts.
lingzhiwen: Lingzhi fungus motif.
liufangyi: Hexagonal-seat chair.
liuxianzhuo: Six Immortals table. Medium-sized square table.
liuzhuchuang: Six-post canopy bed. Southern name for a canopy bed with front railings.
longfengsun: Tongue-and-groove joint, in which a long dovetail-shaped mortise and tenon is used to join two long boards. Literally dragon-and-phoenix joint.
longwen: Dragon design.
luodianqian: Mother-of pearl inlay; also qian-luodian.
luoguocheng: Humpbacked stretcher.
luoguocheng jia ailao: Humpbacked stretcher with pillar-shaped struts.
luoguocheng jia qiazihua: Humpbacked stretcher with decorative struts.
luohanchuang: Luohan bed. Bed with railings on three sides.