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Zitan Furniture

Zitan, a slow-growing rosewood evergreen tree, provides wood in very limited supply. This rare Zitan wood was used to make furniture in China as early as the third century. However, because Zitan trees take so long to grow, Huanghuali furniture was much more common, though still in scarce supply.

Zitan furniture is distinct with its blackish-red or blackish-purple color. The slow growth of the tree leads to very small, fine grains that make the wood ideal for detailed carving techniques. Because of the beautiful grains and exquisite color, Zitan furniture is minimally decorated and only painted over with a thin clear lacquer so that the beauty of the natural wood can be seen.

During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the demand for Zitan furniture grew out of control and became closely monitored under the reign of Emperor Qianglong. While not extinct, Zitan wood is still endangered to this day and trade of this valuable lumber is heavily regulated.


Quick Facts

  • In 300 years, a Zitan tree only grows to be about 30 feet tall and 10 inches wide
  • Zitan wood is also used for the red pigment that can be extracted from the fibers of wood
  • Zitan is such a dense and heavy wood that it is actually incapable of floating in the water

Recommended Items at Auction

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A CHINESE ZITAN WOOD BRUSHPOT
May 29, 9:00 AM EDT
A CHINESE ZITAN WOOD BRUSHPOT
by Lauren Gallery
Est: $500- $15,000
$1252 Bids
A FINE CYLINDRICAL ZITAN BRUSHPOT
Jun 10, 9:30 AM CEST
A FINE CYLINDRICAL ZITAN BRUSHPOT
by Nagel Auction
Est: €1,000- €1,500
€5001 Bid
Chinese Zitan libation cup
May 24, 9:00 AM EDT
Chinese Zitan libation cup
by Montgomery Auction
Est: $300- $500
$500 Bids
Chinese Zitan Wood Bowl with Inlay
May 30, 10:00 AM EDT
Chinese Zitan Wood Bowl with Inlay
by Stallion Hill Gallery
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,0000 Bids
Chinese Carved Zitan Wood - Hawk Hunting Rabbit
May 30, 10:00 AM EDT
Chinese Carved Zitan Wood - Hawk Hunting Rabbit
by Stallion Hill Gallery
Est: $800- $1,200
$4000 Bids
18TH C PAIR OF CHINESE ZITAN LOW CHAIRS
May 29, 9:00 AM EDT
18TH C PAIR OF CHINESE ZITAN LOW CHAIRS
by Lauren Gallery
Est: $500- $15,000
$4000 Bids
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A ZITAN SCROLL-FORM STAND Qing Dynasty
May 29, 2:00 PM HKT
A ZITAN SCROLL-FORM STAND Qing Dynasty
by Bonhams
Est: HKD150,000- HKD180,000
HKD150,0000 Bids
ANTIQUE CARVED ZITAN THRONE CHAIR
May 30, 9:00 AM EDT
ANTIQUE CARVED ZITAN THRONE CHAIR
by Lauren Gallery
Est: $500- $15,000
$4000 Bids
A ZITAN ARMREST AND A BAMBOO ARMREST WITH ENGRAVED FLOWERING PLUM BRANCH
Jun 10, 9:30 AM CEST
A ZITAN ARMREST AND A BAMBOO ARMREST WITH ENGRAVED FLOWERING PLUM BRANCH
by Nagel Auction
Est: €500- €800
€2400 Bids
Vintage Zitan Turtle Statue
May 25, 12:00 PM EDT
Vintage Zitan Turtle Statue
by Rose's Antiques
Est: $100- $200
$200 Bids
A YELLOW-GLAZED BRUSHPOT WITH BAMBOO RELIEF ON A CARVED ZITAN STAND
Jun 10, 9:30 AM CEST
A YELLOW-GLAZED BRUSHPOT WITH BAMBOO RELIEF ON A CARVED ZITAN STAND
by Nagel Auction
Est: €1,500- €2,500
€7500 Bids
A zitan wood brushpot. 19/early 20th century
Jun 18, 11:00 AM CEST
A zitan wood brushpot. 19/early 20th century
by Kunsthaus Lempertz KG
Est: €2,800- €3,200
€2,0000 Bids
Late Qing Dynasty Zitan Wood Chopsticks 5 Pairs, 12" Long
Jun 08, 12:00 PM EDT
Late Qing Dynasty Zitan Wood Chopsticks 5 Pairs, 12" Long
by RB Fine Arts
Est: $250- $500
$1000 Bids
Late Qing Dynasty Zitan Wood Chopsticks 4 Pairs, 11.5" Long
Jun 08, 12:00 PM EDT
Late Qing Dynasty Zitan Wood Chopsticks 4 Pairs, 11.5" Long
by RB Fine Arts
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
Qing Dynasty Zitan Wood Forks Hsien Feng Reign Ca 1850's
Jun 08, 12:00 PM EDT
Qing Dynasty Zitan Wood Forks Hsien Feng Reign Ca 1850's
by RB Fine Arts
Est: $150- $200
$1000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Zitan Furniture


Nagel Auction

Nagel Auction

Lauren Gallery

Lauren Gallery

RB Fine Arts

RB Fine Arts

Stallion Hill Gallery

Stallion Hill Gallery