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Things Chinese: Antiques, Crafts, Collectibles

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"China has been a source of fascination for the West since the early days of the China trade, and the country's importance to the world grows with every passing day. China's renowned art objects and traditional manufactured products have long been sought by collectors--from porcelains and finely detailed paintings, silk fabrics, and furniture to the lacquered or ebony-and-bone chopsticks that are a distant relation to the ones you'll find in most Chinese restaurants. Things Chinese is the next book in the newly redesigned series that includes Things Japanese and Things Thai. Like them, it presents sixty distinctive items that are typical of Chinese culture and together present a very special window onto the people, the history, and the society of the world's largest nation. Each object is a collectible in its own right, and each has a different story to tell. The objects are grouped into six areas: household items, arts & crafts, personal possessions, eating & drinking, games & entertainment, and religious items. They include some items that will be familiar and many that are unfamiliar--some new and some old--from painted cabinets and calligraphic scrolls to painted opera masks and moon cake moulds, and from Golden Lotus shoes once used to encase tightly-bound fee to snuff bottles, Mao memorabilia, mahjong sets and even kites. Renowned architectural historian Ronald Knapp describes the history, cultural significance, and customs relating to each item, while award-winning photographer Michael Freeman has taken superb photographs to illustrate them. Together, text and photographs offer a unique look at the material culture of the Chinese and the aesthetics that inform it"-- Hide synopsis

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