Furniture Developemnt
The development of traditional Chinese furniture went from the simple to the intricate, and was closely inked to the Chinese lifestyle and cultural and economic changes in China. In early antiquity, the Chinese sat mostly on straw mats on the floor. After the Warring States period (475-221 B.C.), beds and couches began to come into widespread use as seating. During the Wei-Chin (220-420 A.D.) and the Northern and Southern dynasties (420-589 A.D.) period, Western-style chairs, folding stools, and other seating gradually entered China. From this point on, Chinese everyday living began to be conducted from chairs rather than sitting cross-legged on the floor. Straw mats came to be used as coverings for beds and couches. 

Beginning in the late Ch'ing Dynasty, foreign living styles began to be adopted in China, with the result that originally predominant Chinese-style furnishings gradually became collector's items. Not only chairs, but also Chinese tables, cabinets, bookcases, and decorative screens reached the summit of their development during the Ming (1368-1644 A.D.) and Ch'ing dynasties. 

Ming furniture features simple, smooth, and flowing lines, and plain and elegant ornamentation, fully bringing out the special qualities of frame-structure furniture. Influenced by China's burgeoning foreign trade and advanced craftsmanship techniques, furniture of the Ch'ing Dynasty period turned to rich and intricate ornamentation, along with coordinated engraved designs. Because of the high level of development of Chinese furniture in the Ming and Ch'ing dynasties, most Chinese furniture design today follows in the tradition of pieces from these two periods. In the Republic of China on Taiwan, traditional Chinese furniture has been preserved in excellent condition in the Lin residence in Wufeng, Taichung; in the Cheng residence in Hsinchu, which used to belong to Taiwan's first scholar to pass the Chinese civil service examination; and in the Folk Art Museum of Lukang. 
As in traditional Chinese architecture, wood is the major material used in the manufacture of furniture. This was in response both to needs arising from Chinese lifestyles, and to China's rich forest resources. The two main types are lacquered furniture and hardwood furniture. Lacquered furniture was commonly used in palaces, temples, and in the homes of the wealthy. It includes the t'i-hung , or carved lacquer style; t'ien-ch'i in which lacquer is used to fill in an engraved design, and then rubbed flat; miao-ch'i , or outlined lacquer style; and luo-tien, or furniture inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Two or more methods might also be combined in the same piece. Hardwood furniture was frequently found in the homes of the wealthy, but was even more common in the homes of nobles and officials. Woods employed include red sandalwood, pearwood, padauk, ebony, and nanmu. Of these, red sandalwood is the most highly valued material for use in furniture making; it is dense, hard, and resistant to decay. 
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