The Beautiful World of Chinoiserie

If you love interior decor and design, I am sure you have encountered
the term chinoiserie.

In case you have not; first of all the word Chinoi is French for Chinese. It is a European exotic embellishing art inspired by Chinese or East Asian cultures.

17th century chinoiserie wall paper
17th Century Delftware Chinoiserie designed by: The Chinoiserie

This art surfaced and hypnotized everyone with its beauty in the 17th century. As more people traveled far out into other cultures such as East Asia, they brought back the art with them to show others the beauty by adorning their homes with Chinoiserie ornaments and items with these intricate designs.

Chinese Porcelain Trade in the Rest of The World

The demand was already spreading in other parts of the world. There is evidence of chinese porcelain trade as far as:

Eastern Africa

East Africa history blog .com: Ancient Chinese porcelain
East Africa history blog .com: Ancient Chinese porcelain

Middle East

The Arab world was awed by Chinese porcelain. During trade as they imported Chinese ceramics the exported glass, spices and minerals. Their own porcelain was highly influenced by Chinese ceramic art.

Dragon pattern plate: Persia, 17th century, inspired by 15th-century Chinese blue and white porcelain.
Plate dated 1600s, Egypt Aga Khan Museum

People’s enchantment with Chinoiserie transformed it and became all the vogue swooping the whole of Europe. Clearly with the high demand its value was so high and could only be witnessed among the well heeled. The blue and white patterns had very high status among the elite around the world.

Some Chinoiserie items that were popular as part of the interior decor were:

Folding screens:

Louis XV Chinoiserie screen 17 to 18 century

Ornate with exquisite art.

The screens were used to create a private areas to discretely change ones robes and God knows what else. You tell me. 😀

Ornate Cabinets:

To keep even more valuable collections from far away lands

From Hampel auctions: James II period antique cabinet

Chinoiserie china:

Caughley porcelain part tea and coffee service late 18th century
Met Museum: 1743 Tea service
Tea Leaves by William McGregor Paxton, Boston, MA. metmuseum

Used for afternoon teas which was very popular with the ladies

Chinoiserie Vases

Ruby Lane: Pair of early 18th century delft jars
17th Century Antique Japanese Arita Porcelain Baluster Jar,
Picture credit Chairish

Just for decorative purposes and and also arrange flowers or store items.

Chinoiserie Tapestries

Getty: Tapestry La Collation, from L’Histoire de l’empereur de la Chine Series

Chinoiserie Wall Paper

To decorate their walls.

National trust archives: 18th Century Chinoiserie wall paper

As this was the era of Rococco style to, Many aristocrats mixed and matched their Chinoiserie with Roccoco interiors as seen below.

French decorator Didier Haspeslagh Chateau in Chantilly Chinoiserie interiors
Chateau de Chantilly Chinoiserie Interiors Louis XV style

In this present time, Chinoiserie going through a major come back through inspired interior decor. The Chinese antique market has seen a return and rise of valuable Chinoiserie antique vases and art collection.

If you enjoyed this little historical insight on the beautiful world of Chinoiserie, then you will love these Chinoiserie inspired interior decor .


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