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Synopsis (contents) of "Tibetan Furniture" by Chris Buckley


Unique time in Tibetan Furniture studies - Cosmopolitan influences on traditional furniture - Comments on estimating the ages of old furniture, radiocarbon dating - basis for chronology in this book

Chapter 1: Land and People

Brief introduction to location and geography - scarcity of wood - Importance of Tibetan religion in the structure of society and uses of furniture - pre-Buddhist Bon religion - Tibetan Buddhism - Tantric Buddhism - Wrathful deities - The Monastic orders in Tibet.

Chapter 2: Forms and Uses

Materials and Construction of Tibetan Furniture - Joinery - Metalwork - Eastern Tibetan styles - Cabinetry styles - Repairs - Paint materials and decoration techniques - Surface preparation - Fabric layers - Gesso foundations - Gesso and gilding - Shellac finishing - Furniture Uses in Tibet related to different lifestyles - Nomadic lifestyles - The Nomad's tent and furnishings - Settled lifestyles - The Tibetan house - Monasteries - Types of furniture used in settled lifestyles - Secular versus monastic furniture - Elevated versus mat-level living styles - The Tibetan platform - Furniture Types - Low tables - Folding tables - Cabriole leg tables - Tea tables - Chests - Portable leather chests - early history - Sloping-sided chests - Straight-sided chests - Uses of chests in monasteries and in homes - domestic chests - Cabinets - Types of Cabinet - Furniture with specialized uses - Reading desks - Shrine cabinets - Prayer wheels - Offering Cabinets - Butter lamp stands and Offering stands - Regional Furniture Styles - Eastern Tibetan styles - Central Tibet - the inventory of Drepung Monastery - Far Western Tibet - Modern classical furniture.

Chapter 3: Themes and Decoration

Origins and Meaning of Decoration on Tibetan Furniture - Evidence of contacts with surrounding cultures - Classes of decorative Motifs - Religious Symbols - Tibetan Buddhist Symbols and Bon symbols - Decorative designs - Changes in historical influences - Auspicious symbols in Tibetan art - Function of furniture designs - Use of Decoration - Decorative layout on chests - Decorative layout on tables - Decorative layout on cabinets - History and Influences - Gifts from the Chinese Court - Trade with China and Central Asia - Textiles - Patterns and motifs - Medallion Designs - Geometric designs based on textiles - Brocade roundels and squares - Floral motifs - Cloud patterns - Border Meander designs - Symbols - Precious jewel - Vajra - Swastika - Four Color Disc - The Eight Precious Objects - Tibetan set of precious objects - Lotus - Wheel - Endless knot - Conch - Parasol - Pair of Fish - Victory Banner - Vase of Plenty - Chinese sets of precious objects - Dragon - Early depictions of dragons in Tibet - Early depictions of dragons on furniture - Later elaborations - Snow lion - Tiger - Snow leopard - Zeeba - Elephant - Deer - Pheasant, phoenix and crane - Parrot - Bat and butterfly - Tibetan deities - Wealth creating deities - Vaishravana - Jambala - Gods of Longevity - Shou lao - Meditating ascetics - Kings and perfect worlds.

Chapter 4: Furniture for the Wrathful Gods

Macabre designs, a distinctive and unique feature of Tibetan furniture - popular misconceptions - Wrathful deities in Tibetan religion - Protector gods (dharmapala) - Mahakala - Palden Lhamo - Chapels for Protector Deities (Gonkhang) - the Gonkhang at Gyantse - Weapons, masks and body parts - Offering cabinets (torgam) - butter and flour sculptures (torma) - Painted designs on offering cabinets - classification of these designs - The Host of Ornaments design - other kinds of gonkhang furniture - tiger skin designs - fakes and copies.

Chapter Five : Examples of Tibetan Furniture

Expanding on the themes of the previous chapters, with photographs and examples of 80 items of antique furniture, including chests, leather chests, folding tables, cabriole leg tables, straight-leg tables, high tables, octagonal table, cabinets, reading desks, shrine cabinets, prayer wheels, offering cabinets and other types.

Glossary - Recommended Reading - Index