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Appreciation of Bamboo Carvings in the Ming and Qing Dynasties

Look at the texture. Bamboo carvers of the Ming and Qing dynasties, the bamboo material used are taken from the growth of 2-4 years of bamboo, bamboo texture structure is fine, tender old moderate. The early bamboo carving works often show the texture of bamboo, the later works are finely crafted, rarely see the rough texture of bamboo.

Look at the style. The famous bamboo carving masters of the Ming and Qing dynasties basically did not have the habit of leaving their names on their works, so there are very few heirloom works of famous artists with their own withdrawals. Now we can see the master’s name on the carved bamboo artifacts have four cases: one is the author’s own withdrawals of the real thing; second, his disciples after adding the name of the real thing; third, the works of the disciples carved on the master’s name; fourth, completely fake forgeries.


Artistic commonality and knife work. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, there was a group of special masters with the dual identity of literati and craftsmen, whose works were often smooth in knife work and had a clear and profound meaning of painting. Since the late Qing Dynasty, the calligraphy and painting on bamboo carvings have lost their intriguing contexts and exquisite knife and brush art.

Artistic style. Generally speaking, the bamboo carvings of the Ming Dynasty showed the artistic style of clumsiness and simplicity, and there were few small and compact devices. In the Qing Dynasty, bamboo carving was elegant in the Kangxi period and splendid in the Qianlong period. In the late Qing Dynasty, the style of the works tended to be flat and simple.


Bamboo carving color. Generally speaking, the older the piece, the darker the color of the surface. This color is mostly produced by people often play with the reason for fondling.

Counterfeiters will often be dyed new ware, hoping to get the same color with the old, but artificial imitation floating but not sinking, and the natural color is different in the end, it is easy to see by careful identification.

Process characteristics. In the bamboo carving process, it is important to know the popular age of some processes. Familiarity with bamboo carving techniques is helpful to identify the era of bamboo carving works.

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