A Chinoiserie lacquer and gilt metal etagere by Maison Jansen,…
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A chinoiserie lacquer and gilt metal etagere by Maison Jansen, French, circa 1920, 57 cm high, 78 cm wide, 36 cm deep

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  • Circa - A Latin term meaning 'about', often used in the antique trade to give an approximate date for the piece, usually considered to be five years on either side of the circa year. Thus, circa 1900 means the piece was made about 1900, probably between 1895 and 1905. The expression is sometimes abbreviated to c.1900.
  • Chinoiserie - Furniture and decorative items decorated in imitation of a Western interpretation of the Chinese style. The Chinoiserie style first became popular in the late 17th century, though there were frequent revivals, notably by Chippendale (hence 'Chinese Chippendale') during the Regency period, and the Anglo-Japanese style in the second half of the 19th century.

    The ubiquitous 'willow pattern' is the most common 'Chinese' theme used in porcelain, while on furniture the Chinoiserie style usually has black or red painted and lacquered decoration, though the hallmark of the furniture style is the use of fretwork in geometrical patterns, pagodas and other decorative forms.

    Japonaiseries, as the name implies, are motifs in imitation of the Japanese taste.

    See also "Chinese Chippendale".

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