The Museum Proper
Replica or Original:
On Display, In Storage, or in a Private Offsite Collection:
Mahogany Wood Furniture
Chair: 49.5" x 28" x 41"" Couch: 82.5" x 28" x 55.5" Coffee table: 64.5" x 19.5" x 28" Small Side table: 13" 12" x 16" Medium Side Table: 31" x 21" x 21"
A carved mahogany living room set.
Inscriptions, and/or Markings:
Mr. Chi Ming Ko and Family
Commonly referred to as "red wood" by the Chinese, this unique set of furniture was crafted from mahogany. In the furniture trade, this wood is sometimes referred to as "rosewood". This mahogany is speculated to orginate from the Phillippines and was later carved by skilled artists in China. The tables and chairs are inlaid with marble from Yunnan Province in China. The natural black and white patterns in the marble resemble tradtional Chinese ink paintings. This set took a team of artists and carpenters over two years to complete.
Mahogany Living Room Set is a modern day replica of a set in the Imperial Palace - used by the former Emporers of China. Every piece of furniture is decorated with powerful carvings. The back panels are multi-layered clouds with writhing dragons that bespeak ferocity and vitality. There are unicorns that are supposed to bring good forture, deer that will bring prosperity, bats that will bring blessings and lions that declare authority. If you count carefully, you will find nine dragons on the back panel of the main couch. This meant that the couch belonged to the Emporer, because no one else was allowed to use nine dragons as a decoration. Violators sometimes received capital punishment!
This set is not meant to be placed against the wall. It is best situated in the middle of a large hall, such as the Imperial Palace, hence the three-dimensional carving. The backside is as detailed as the front, therefore the artwork can be appreciated from all angles.