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Susan Slotkis - Interior Designer, Professional Speaker, Industry Expert, Author & Educator
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If you teach interior design you may qualify to receive a complimentary desk review copy of  
Foundations of  Interior Design, 2nd ed.  
Consult Bloomsbury's website for more info.
I hope you had a wonderful celebration for July 4th & are enjoying Midsummer.  
I am continuing my  decorative arts series with 
Chinoiserie & Singerie
  Hope you enjoy. 
Meissen Porecelain Monkey Band  Singerie

In my recent posts on both Transferware and Toile I wrote of the mid-17th c. trade between Europe & China that resulted in major influences on decorative arts and furniture including Western fascination with all things Oriental.
Rococo Style throughout much of Europe was greatly influenced by Chinese themes.  The interpretations were called chinoiserie, a French term meaning "in the Chinese style". These were often free & fanciful Western versions of the repertoire of Chinese motifs.   Singerie was a specific, related motif that featured humorous depictions of monkeys, often acting or dressed like humans. 

At the same time the Queen Anne, Early Georgian & Chippendale styles flourished in England and America. In 1754 English cabinetmaker, Thomas Chippendale published an encyclopedic, influential & popular pattern book The Gentle-Man and Cabinet-Maker's Director containing an enormous assortment of his designs for furniture and accessories. One of his styles featured Chinese motifs and is referred to as Chinese Chippendale style. Features include fretwork (similar to latticework), the pagoda, mythical creatures such as dragons, bamboo & flowers such as the peony & chrysanthemum infused with symbolic meaning.





A lacquering technique called "japanning" was employed but was actually based on an ancient Chinese method using sap from the lac tree to form a resistant surface to protect wood from damage by insects.  Often red or black in color, pieces were often embellished with gilded Oriental-inspired scenes.



Modern versions of chinoiserie show up on furniture, table top, fabrics, wall coverings, fashion, and yes nail art & tattoos. As did the designers from the 17th through the 20th c. conjure up interpretations ranging from realistic to absurd so do the modern taste makers. 




FOR MORE IMAGES OF chinoiserie & singerie, visit my


Upcoming July Seminar in Manhattan
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New York University:  Woolworth Bldg. & Field Trips 

 Sourcing for Interior Design 

July 18, 19, 25, 26      from 10am-5pm 

Susan J. Slotkis 
Profiles - Personalized Interiors
Until the next time...