Chinese Antique Glossary – N

Nanmu (Cedar)

This silvery-brown softwood was traditionally prized as one of the best materials for cabinet construction. Nanmu burl is typically used for decorating cabinet doors and table panels. More than thirty varieties are found south of the Yangzi River, Hainan and Vietnam. In addition to furniture, nanmu is used in the construction of houses and boats. Once dry, the wood does not warp or split, unlike regular wood, and can be sanded and polished to create a smooth, hard surface, making it ideal for furniture manufacture. See also Huanghuali, Yumu and Zitan.


Northern Dynasties

386-581 and comprising:

Northern Wei, 386-534
Eastern Wei, 534-550
Northern Qi, 550-577
Western Wei, 535-556
Northern Zhou, 557-581