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Things Chinese: Antiques, Crafts, Collectibles

China's renowned art objects, furnishings, and handicrafts have long been sought by collectors and inspired designers. Through 60 emblematically Chinese antiques and items, Things Chinese opens up the world of Chinese culture.The history, cultural significance and customs surrounding these exemplars of Chinese art and material culture come into dazzling focus through detailed descriptions and full-color photographs. Items covered include:Bamboo furnitureIvory carvingSnuff bottlesMooncake moldsMusical instrumentsMahjong setsFengshui compassesThings Chinese brings together China scholar Ronald Knapp, who describes the history and use of these Chinese artifacts in fascinating detail, and Michael Freeman, whose work has appeared in magazines such as the Smithsonian, GEO and Conde Nast Traveler, and here lovingly and richly photographs each.

Hardcover: 144 pages

Publisher: Periplus Editions (HK) ltd.; Hardcover with Jacket edition (October 10, 2011)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 080484187X

ISBN-13: 978-0804841870

Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.6 x 9 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #897,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #81 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Houseware & Dining > Porcelain & China #194 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Houseware & Dining > Furniture #754 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Antiques Care & Reference > Reference

I really like this book! It is a pleasure to look thru every time I open it. I find something new to hold my interest the text is well written, and the photographs are amazing. This little, (big) book has become one of my favorites. I will continue to use it as reference, for enjoyment, and as a reference to develop ideas for my art pieces.

This is an easy to read but very basic book regarding a variety of tangible items and symbolic motifs found throughout China. It is not useful as a reference work but is easily read by a senior high school student to gain a basic understanding of unusual (to Western eyes) items and motifs seen daily in China. A good book to read before your first trip to China.

Ronald Knapp walks a really nice line with this book. It's a heavily illustrated small format coffee table book, as much for looking at as reading. But what's there to be read is a find--a more than deft condensation of what's essential to know about a subject that can too quickly become abstruse. Knapp moves easily between traditionally "blue chip" objects such as "the four treasures of the study" (Wenfang Sibao) and things as common as a wok or, once upon a time, a Mao button. At either end of the spectrum and a host of places in between, he clearly and concisely lays out information you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere else in a single volume, let alone presented as cogently. This book would serve as a perfect introduction for people new to the topic. It would be as good a guidebook to China's material culture for anyone in or traveling there with an urge to decode what they're seeing. But the tenor of it is such that even the cognoscenti will end up learning.

This wonderfully illustrated book is a must-read for those who are interested in Chinese material culture and the collectors of things Chinese. Knapp's lucid texts and the marvelous images introduce to us the distinct material culture of the Chinese world that extends from China to the communities of Chinese diaspora. Like his many other books on Chinese houses and vernacular dwellings, this book shows Knapp's in-depth knowledge of Chinese domestic life and vernacular cultures.This book is packed with rich information and scholarly insights. It contains references to further readings for readers who are interested in exploring further some objects. It is a useful guidebook for those who are drawn to distinct Chinese culture and for students of Chinese culture.

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