Pair of Chinese Zitan Lattice Panel Master Armchairs, the stepped back and arms, with open-work galleries panels, over a rectangular seat with open-works carved scrolling tendrils apron, beneath the elaborately carved back splat with rococo floral motif. Raised on squared legs joined by stretchers. The upper body of the armchairs are demountable. Showing smooth lustrous dark purplish-brown patina, dense hardwood, with shimmering feathery fine grain.
Dimensions: 43-1/2" H x 25-1/2" W x 20" D
From New York Estate Sales and Auctions Near The Hudson, 1928.
Zitan is an extremely dense wood; It is a member of the rosewood family and is botanically classified in the Pterocarpus genus. The wood is blackish-purple to blackish-red in color, and its fibers are laden with deep red pigments which have been used for dye since ancient times. Zitan, a slow-growing rosewood evergreen tree, provides wood in very limited supply. This rare Zitan wood was used to make furniture in China as early as the third century. The slow growth of the tree leads to very small, fine grains that make the wood ideal for detailed carving techniques.
During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the demand for Zitan furniture grew out of control and became closely monitored under the reign of Emperor Qianlong.
In 300 years, a Zitan tree only grows to be about 30 feet tall and 10 inches wide.
Zitan is such a dense and heavy wood that it is actually incapable of floating in the water