Thursday, October 8, 2009
One of the features of our China journey was to visit Lily’s Antique Furniture showroom in one of the outlying areas of Beijing. Therefore, after the Hongchow shopping experience and the KFC lunch we headed off to visit Lily.
Lily is perhaps the most respected antique furniture dealer in Beijing and she graciously agreed to present a history of Chinese antique furniture to our group. Judy and Marion being interior designers, Joe having practiced woodwork, and the rest of us being keenly interested, the presentation was very informative.
One of Lily’s workers brought a chair to the presentation to demonstrate the skill of crafting Chinese furniture without nails or glue; instead using the art of mortise and tenon to join the elements of the furniture together. After the chair was disassembled, Joe volunteered to put it back together. And to his credit, he quickly figured out how to do it. Lily was quite impressed and offered him a job.
After the presentation, the other members of the group were escorted by Cherry, one of Lily’s leading sales representatives, around the vast showrooms located on two floors. Here they discovered and selected antique Chinese furniture to ship back to their home via Silk Road Collection’s container. After the group’s discoveries, they went back to Beijing, leaving Robert and I to continue our shopping work.
Robert and I, now focused on the business of replenishing our inventory of antique Chinese furniture, accompanied by Lily. It is always fascinating to be able to touch, feel, and gaze upon treasures 100-200 + years old. It is even more thrilling to select that treasure to take home and then help to find it a new home.
One of most exciting finds this visit, was a personal sedan carriage about 150 years old, most probably used to transport a wealthy woman around her Chinese village or city. With Lily’s assistance, we were able to find and select many great pieces of furniture to add to Silk Road’s collection. Stopping for the day at around 9 pm, we planned to continue shopping with Lily the next day.
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