Antique Table Lamps for Interior Design – Chinoiserie

Antique Table Lamps for Interior Design – Chinoiserie

Stylish table lamps are the key to a well furnished room and a major key to the stylish table lamp is the Chinoiserie style, a French term, pronounced “shin-wahz-ree” signifying “Chinese-esque” or “anything reflecting Chinese culture: Chinese artifacts, designs, artistic styles, behavior”.

Yet, to gain a richer understanding of this classic decorating style, we need to go back in history to the time of that intrepid traveller, Marco Polo. It was this famous Venetian who first opened the eyes of the West to the mysterious land, known to the Chinese as the Middle Kingdom or China.

Around the late 13th century, new and exciting products began to trickle into Europe from China, a land still hidden and virtually unknown to the West. Europe was fascinated by the exotic imports such silk, lacquered furniture and porcelain, all vastly expensive and purchased only by the wealthy social classes. These beautiful and curious objects led to the development of a European interpretation of Chinese decoration which the French called, “Chinoiserie”.

The mid 18th century saw a French, aristocratic demand for sumptuous interior design with various European monarchs, such as Louis XV of France, giving special favor to this exciting genre as it blended particularly well with the high rococo style of the day.

In true Chinoiserie fairyland, Mandarins lived in fanciful, mountainous landscapes with cobweb bridges. They carried flower parasols, lolled in flimsy bamboo pavilions haunted by dragons and phœnixes, while monkeys swung from scrolling borders, always delicately drawn and full of free flowing movement with beautifully balanced composition.

Chinoiserie quickly became the height of fashion, setting the interior design style of Paris, London, Berlin and St Petersburg, finding expression in mediums such as furniture, porcelain, wallpaper and fabric, to name just a few.

While the popularity of Chinoiserie may have peaked around the middle of the eighteenth century, its value as an arresting, interior decorative style has never waned.

For a classic or eclectic interior, fine antique table lamps of Chinoiserie style will quickly “pull the look together”, adding interest and an overall sense of high style. Reliable, decorative lighting specialists such as The Antique & Vintage Table Lamp Co are able to offer quality antique or vintage lamps or can source particular lighting requirements upon request.

Table Lamp Tips – remember that using a dimmer switch or simply changing the wattage of your bulb will significantly alter the mood of a room.

You are invited to visit their web site at

© The Antique & Vintage Table Lamp Co 2008

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