Go Antiquing in Newberry, South Carolina!

My friend, Robert Summer, has been the Editor of Newberry Magazine for many years. It is a bi-monthly full color magazine about the lifestyle of folks living in Newberry, South Carolina. I love reading the bi-monthly articles about the big, beautiful homes around Newberry and especially enjoy the recipes for delicious southern cooking. He even published an article about EuroLux Antiques when we opened back in 2004. Recently Robert created a new video about Newberry to promote tourism and asked me to speak briefly about shopping for Antique Furniture on Main Street.

 

Visiting Downtown Newberry is a great way to spend a Saturday or an entire weekend! Go antiquing through the nine Antique galleries and two thrift shops, and don’t forget to stop at one of the many specialty stores, including clothing, shoes, and gift stores. You can spend all day browsing through the shops and then enjoy lunch or dinner at one of the restaurants downtown.

Of course, don’t forget to check the calendar for the Newberry Opera House so that you can catch a show while you’re in town. A large variety of entertainers perform at the Newberry Opera House each year, from ballet to bluegrass, with wonderful Elvis impersonators to boot!

A visit to Newberry would be incomplete without visiting the largest indoor orchid nursery in the US at Carter and Holmes Orchids.

So the next time you’re looking for a fun day trip, or wondering how to entertain out-of-town guests, come on down to Newberry, the City of Friendly Folks!

Thanks for stopping by the EuroLux Antiques blog!

Aimee

 Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

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Symbolism and Chinese Antique Furniture

One of my favorite aspects of Chinese Antique Furniture is the use of symbols to convey specific meanings for the owner.  Symbolism has long been an important part of Chinese culture with particular animals, plants, and even geometric patterns representing ideas or concepts.

Dragons are a powerful symbol in Chinese mythology and symbolize power, authority, male vigor and fertility. They represent the “yang” force in the “yin-yang” dynamic.  A Dragon is used as decorative trim around the edge of this Chinese Antique Cabinet above and as a decorative medallion in the center of the back splat of an Antique Chinese Chair in the photo below.

Running horses symbolize imminent success in Chinese culture, as seen on this Chinese Antique Chest of Drawers below. A bat hovers above the horses, adding good luck for the owner.

According to Chinese belief, bats represent good luck, as the word for bat sounds very similar to “Fu”, the word for good fortune or blessing.  Two bats seen together doubles the good luck, while the representation of five bats together symbolizes the Five Blessings of life: wealth, health, virtue, a long life and a natural death.  The four bats shown together on the back splat of this Antique Chinese Armchair below will bring quadruple luck to the owner!

Many pieces of Chinese Antique Furniture or Chinese Antique Architectural Elements use multiple symbolic objects, whose meanings combine to create a richly layered and complex interpretation for the owner.  For instance, the beautifully carved Antique Chinese Doors below may have been created as a wedding gift for a new bride and groom.

The Antique Chinese Doors feature a large Chinese character in a prominent position that represents health and longevity and is surrounded by four painted butterflies, which symbolize love and joy.  These symbols on the lower area of this Pair of Antique Chinese Doors, taken in combination, express a wish for a long and happy marriage based on true love.

This beautiful message is further enriched by the symbolic objects found in the upper area of these Antique Chinese Doors: pomegranates (fertility), peaches (longevity), lotus flowers (purity and perfection), and peonies (material wellbeing and also female beauty and reproduction).  Taken together, this complex interplay of symbolic meanings seems to convey warm wishes for a lifetime of marital bliss that is blessed with children.

I love how the juxtaposition of symbols on the Chinese Antique Cabinet below creates a deeper philosophical meaning for the owner.  The geometric pattern found on the upper drawers and in the large, full moon medallions on the front doors is called the Wanzi, and is also known as the Buddha’s Footprint.

In China, the Wanzi symbol represents the infinite multiplication of happiness, wealth, and longevity and comes from the Buddhist tradition. The Wanzi should not be confused with the swastika symbol of 1930s Nazi Germany, as Hitler’s swastika is inverted in the opposite direction and tipped up at an angle.

This Chinese Antique Cabinet also has carved flowers that represent the seasons of the year: Chrysanthemum (Autumn), Peony (Spring), and Lotus (Summer).

The Lotus flower also adds another layer of symbolism in that it often represents the Buddha himself. The lotus plant grows in the mud, yet the pretty bloom arises from the muck untainted, a symbol of purity and perfection, and one that represents the way of Buddhism.

The combination of symbolic objects on this charming Antique Chinese Cabinet creates a complex, multi-layered meaning that juxtaposes the fleeting nature of time (the brief life of a flower, the passing of the seasons) with that which is eternal and infinite. A nice message to ponder while enjoying a beautiful and functional piece of Chinese Antique Furniture.

Thanks for stopping by the EuroLux Antiques Blog!

Aimee

 Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

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EuroLux Antiques has Chinoserie fever!

As you may know, EuroLux Antiques has been a premier resource for exceptional European Antique Furniture and Accessories for nearly ten years. We have specialized in high-quality, ornately carved French Antique Furniture, hand-painted Majolica, unusual Vintage Lighting, Antique Clocks, and Antique Religious Treasures.

Greg and I are very excited to announce the expansion of our Antiques offerings here at EuroLux Antiques with the introduction of exceptional Antique Furniture and Accessories from China!  These amazing pieces all have the same high quality and superb craftmanship that you’ve come to expect from EuroLux Antiques.  Our first container has just arrived and we are proud to offer these beautiful, hand-crafted pieces of Chinese Antiques.

Our friends, Mike and Anita,

(Mike is also a graduate of the University of South Carolina Moore School of Business MIBS program, like us) own a business (PassageMaker China) in Shenzhen and have lived in China for more than ten years.  Mike and Anita will now be part of the EuroLux Antiques team, scouring the Chinese countryside and hand-selecting beautiful and unique Antique Chinese Furniture and Accessories.  Anita is Chinese by birth, so her native language fluency and family connections come in handy to make sure all pieces meet our EuroLux Seal of Approval.

We will specialize in Late Qing (pronounced Ching) Dynasty Chinese Antiques, which date from the end of the 19th century, just like our French Antiques.  In Europe and China, the late 1800s saw a rising merchant class that for the first time, had disposable income to spend on purchasing furniture for their homes.  They chose ornately carved and richly decorated pieces in order to convey a sense of status,  showing off their newly-found prosperity.  Late Qing Dynasty Antique Furniture is often called the people’s furniture, and is also known as Antique Chinese Country Furniture or Antique Chinese Vernacular Furniture.  This is not the furniture that would have been made for Imperial Palaces, but instead was used and cherished by the upper middle class in their homes, and was passed down from generation to generation.

Antique Chinese Country Furniture is made from softwoods that are native to China, such as elm, walnut, fir, and cypress.  Many of the pieces were originally painted with a natural tree lacquer, or with black or vibrant red lacquer, and were carved with symbols to convey meanings for the owner.  A scrolling cloud motif was quite common and conveyed good fortune.

Repeating and overlapping geometrical patterns were often used to convey a sense of unending prosperity and the concept of infinity and were frequently used for window screens, doors, and other architectural elements.

The Europeans loved Chinese Furniture and Accessories too, and the craze for the Chinese style was called Chinoserie, which was extremely popular in the middle of the 18th century.  Now you can find, and mix and match, high-quality Antique Chinese Furniture and Antique French Furniture at EuroLux Antiques.  We have Chinoserie fever!  We find the combination of Chinese Antiques with European Antiques to be very exciting and visually appealing, and we hope you will enjoy it as much as we do!

Best wishes,

Aimee

 Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

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