Straights Chinese Bed
mid 19th century
A canopied, carved bed made in the Straits Chinese style. Settling along the major trade route that opened up between China and the Indian ocean in the 18th century, the so-called Straits Chinese brought much of their Chinese culture with them, yet also took on much of the local culture, be it the Malay people or the British colonialists. Straits Chinese furniture is a fusion of Chinese Xing dynasty ornateness and early 19th century English dignity and decorum, all adapted to tropical climate. This bed is made of nam wood, a Chinese variety of cedar. Of unusually ample proportions and with doors and finished surfaces on all four sides, it was no doubt commissioned by a wealthy and important family.