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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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Pair of Zitan Wood Chinese Armchairsheight 41 inches, width 21 inches
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
Pair of Zitan Wood Chinese Armchairsheight 41 inches, width 21 inches
by Nadeau's Auction Gallery
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$5001 Bid
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PAIR OF CARVED ZITAN WOOD ARMCHAIRS
Oct 31, 6:00 AM PDT
PAIR OF CARVED ZITAN WOOD ARMCHAIRS
by East West Auctions
Est: $18,000- $28,000
$4,0000 Bids
ZITAN WOOD CYLINDRICAL BRUSH POT
Oct 30, 3:00 PM PDT
ZITAN WOOD CYLINDRICAL BRUSH POT
by Mega International Auction Inc.
Est: $600- $800
$3500 Bids
ZITAN WOOD CARVED 'DRAGON' BRUSH POT
Oct 30, 3:00 PM PDT
ZITAN WOOD CARVED 'DRAGON' BRUSH POT
by Mega International Auction Inc.
Est: $600- $800
$4500 Bids
ZITAN WOOD CARVED 'LIU HAI AND TOAD' FIGURAL GROUP
Oct 30, 3:00 PM PDT
ZITAN WOOD CARVED 'LIU HAI AND TOAD' FIGURAL GROUP
by Mega International Auction Inc.
Est: $800- $1,000
$7000 Bids
ZITAN WOOD CARVED OCTAGONAL LOBED OVOID TEA JAR
Oct 30, 3:00 PM PDT
ZITAN WOOD CARVED OCTAGONAL LOBED OVOID TEA JAR
by Mega International Auction Inc.
Est: $800- $1,000
$5000 Bids
ZITAN WOOD CARVED 'RIBBED LUOHAN' SEATED FIGURE
Oct 30, 3:00 PM PDT
ZITAN WOOD CARVED 'RIBBED LUOHAN' SEATED FIGURE
by Mega International Auction Inc.
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,1000 Bids
ZITAN WOOD CARVED AND DECORATED 'EIGHT IMMORTALS' BRUSH POT
Oct 30, 3:00 PM PDT
ZITAN WOOD CARVED AND DECORATED 'EIGHT IMMORTALS' BRUSH POT
by Mega International Auction Inc.
Est: $2,500- $3,500
$1,5000 Bids
A Chinese zitan wood brushpot
Nov 11, 10:30 AM GMT
A Chinese zitan wood brushpot
by Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales
Est: £500- £600
£5000 Bids
A Chinese zitan paperweight
Nov 11, 10:30 AM GMT
A Chinese zitan paperweight
by Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales
Est: £600- £800
£6000 Bids
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A VERY SPECIAL zitan WOOD WALKING STICK.THE REPUBLIC PERIOD.
Oct 31, 9:30 AM SGT
A VERY SPECIAL zitan WOOD WALKING STICK.THE REPUBLIC PERIOD.
by H&H Brother Auction House
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,0000 Bids
Vintage Chinese Tea Leaf Sealed In Zitan Wood Inlay Shell Box
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
Vintage Chinese Tea Leaf Sealed In Zitan Wood Inlay Shell Box
by Quan Rong Gallery
Est: $300- $400
$990 Bids
A Pair Vintage Chinese Zitan Wood Weiqi Pots
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
A Pair Vintage Chinese Zitan Wood Weiqi Pots
by Quan Rong Gallery
Est: $600- $800
$1690 Bids
Chinese Zitan Wood Inlay White Jade Ruyi Scepter
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
Chinese Zitan Wood Inlay White Jade Ruyi Scepter
by Quan Rong Gallery
Est: $3,000- $4,000
$9990 Bids
Vintage Chinese Zitan Wood Mythology Figure Statue
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
Vintage Chinese Zitan Wood Mythology Figure Statue
by Quan Rong Gallery
Est: $200- $300
$990 Bids
Vintage Chinese Zitan Wood Pine Tree & Figure Statue
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
Vintage Chinese Zitan Wood Pine Tree & Figure Statue
by Quan Rong Gallery
Est: $200- $400
$1190 Bids
Zitan Wood Inlay Bamboo Phoenix & Peony Design Screen
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
Zitan Wood Inlay Bamboo Phoenix & Peony Design Screen
by Quan Rong Gallery
Est: $500- $700
$1990 Bids
Vintage Chinese Zitan Wood Inlay Bamboo Incense Burner
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
Vintage Chinese Zitan Wood Inlay Bamboo Incense Burner
by Quan Rong Gallery
Est: $300- $500
$1570 Bids
Chinese Qing Dynasty Zitan Wood Poetic Prose Tea Caddy
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
Chinese Qing Dynasty Zitan Wood Poetic Prose Tea Caddy
by Quan Rong Gallery
Est: $300- $400
$1690 Bids
A carved and painted zitan wood figure of a Mahasiddha
Nov 10, 10:30 AM GMT
A carved and painted zitan wood figure of a Mahasiddha
by Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales
Est: £2,000- £3,000
£1,5000 Bids
Chinese Qing Dynasty Zitan Wood Lacquerware Inlay Shell & Gems Plum Flower Design Screen
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
Chinese Qing Dynasty Zitan Wood Lacquerware Inlay Shell & Gems Plum Flower Design Screen
by Quan Rong Gallery
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,1990 Bids
Chinese Gilt Gold Zitan Wood Thousands Hands Kwan-yin Tangka
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
Chinese Gilt Gold Zitan Wood Thousands Hands Kwan-yin Tangka
by Quan Rong Gallery
Est: $400- $500
$1390 Bids
Chinese Qing Zitan Wood Rockery Shape Brush Pen Shelf
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
Chinese Qing Zitan Wood Rockery Shape Brush Pen Shelf
by Quan Rong Gallery
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$4990 Bids
MARBLE-INSET ZITAN CORNER-LEG STAND QING DYNASTY, 18TH-19TH CENTURY
Nov 05, 10:00 AM GMT
MARBLE-INSET ZITAN CORNER-LEG STAND QING DYNASTY, 18TH-19TH CENTURY
by Lyon & Turnbull
Est: £800- £1,200
£4000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Zitan Furniture


Empire Auction House

Empire Auction House

Mega International Auction Inc.

Mega International Auction Inc.

Quan Rong Gallery

Quan Rong Gallery

Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales

Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales