|Abstract or Summary
- The study is an analysis and a comparison of traditional
furniture styles in China and Korea in terms of size, style of leg, and
metal mounts. The study was limited to the household wardrobes,
cabinets, and chests of both countries from the fifteenth to the early
twentieth century. A total of 141 examples (65 examples of Chinese
furniture, 76 of Korean) included illustrations from publications and
actual pieces from the Portland Art Museum and six antique shops in
Oregon and California.
A work sheet was developed to record observations of the
sample. For statistical analysis the binomial probabilities table,
contingency table analysis, and t-test were used; level of significance
was established at 0.05.
All Chinese wardrobes and 82.2 percent of the cabinets had
straight legs. Chinese chests had either legs of horse's hoof style or
no legs. The most frequent motif of Chinese hinges and lock shields
was the square, and the most frequent motif of the pulls was the leaf. Chinese circle lock shields tended to appear with circle hinges, and
square lock shields with square hinges.
More than half of Korean wardrobes had horse's hoof legs. Of
Korean cabinets, 66. 7 percent had straight legs and 64. 7 percent of
chests did not have legs. The square motif appeared most often on
Korean hinges and lock shields. The most frequent motif of Korean
pulls was the circle. Whereas Korean circle lock shields tended to
appear with circle hinges, Korean square lock shields did not tend to
have square hinges.
The overall features of Chinese furniture in this study were
quite different from Korean. Even though both Chinese and Korean
furniture were simple and straight in structure, Chinese furniture was
simpler. Usually a piece of Korean wardrobe or cabinet consisted of
several stories, and the front was symmetrically divided into many
rectangular panels and drawers. Chinese wardrobes were significantly
larger than Korean in height, width, and depth; the width and
depth of Chinese cabinets were significantly larger than those of
Korean. Chinese chests, however, were significantly smaller than
Korean in height and width. For both Chinese and Korean furniture,
wood grains served as an important-decorative element; but the wood
grains on Korean furniture were more distinct and arranged more
variedly. Usually, on a piece of Korean furniture the designs of wood
grains were symmetrically arranged; vertical and horizontal grains were combined. Metal mounts were used as decorative as well as
functional elements for the furniture of both countries, but Korean
furniture had more kinds and amounts of metal mounts than Chinese.
Even though each country had its preferred motifs and its own motifs
on metal mounts, the majority of both Chinese and Korean metal
mounts were of geometric motifs.