Antiques & The Arts

Chinese Antique Furniture Video #9 Woods – Poplar and Cyprus

[music]>>>John: Hi, I’m John.>>>Yuqing: I’m Yuqing.>>>John: And we’re here once again in our
continuing series of videos on Chinese furniture. Today we’re talking about the next two most
commonly used woods used in Chinese furniture. You’ll recall there were three woods that
were used most frequently throughout the countryside — elm, poplar and cypress. In another video
we talked about elm. Today we’re going to talk about poplar and cypress. Behind me is
a poplar table. Yuqing, why don’t you talk about the characteristics of poplar as wood?>>>Yuqing: Sure, this altar table was stained
in dark black color before but from the faded parts we can tell this is a poplar wood because
poplar is a type of wood that doesn’t have predominant wood grain. It looks like one
flat piece of wood with no grain or the wood grain is so dense you cannot tell that much.
Again, this is a softer wood. It’s lighter in weight as well.>>>John: And the other thing that I would
just add to that is that this Chinese poplar is unlike American poplar in that it does
not have the greenish cast to it that so much American poplar has. The next piece we’re
going to talk about
is cypress. And Yuqing would you tell us the predominant characteristics of cypress?>>>Yuqing: Sure, cypress wood is soft wood
again softer than elm. It’s lighter in weight as well. And from the wood grain it looks
similar to elm but not quite. Elm has the wood grain that looks to me like they’re layers.
And one layer is slightly higher than the other. It’s more like the mountain map you
can see from the center point is highest and a little lower just circle by circle. And
cypress has a lot of knots. And this is a typical character that it has to tell that
this is not elm.>>>John: To me when you look at cypress it
resembles American pine very closely. So this concludes our series on the woods used in
Chinese antique furniture — elm, poplar and cypress. Thanks so much for watching and be
sure to see our other videos.>>>Yuqing: Thank you.

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