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, one needs to go back in history to the time of the fearless traveller, Marco Polo.
It was this 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 products began to trickle into Europe from China, a land still hidden and virtually unknown to the West.
Europe was fascinated by the imports such as silk, lacquered furniture and porcelain, all expensive and purchased only by the wealthy social classes. These good-looking 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 innovative interior design with various European monarchs, such as Louis XV of France, giving special favour to this type 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 phcenixes, while monkeys swung from scrolling borders, always delicately drawn and full of free flowing movement with beautifully balanced composition.
Chinoiserie quickly became the well-accepted 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.
For a classic interior, fine antique table lamps of Chinoiserie style will quickly pull the look together, adding interest and an overall sense of high style.
The Antique & Vintage Table Lamp are able to offer quality antique or vintage lamps or can source particular lighting requirements upon request.