One Hundred Beds Museum is the first museum in China which specializes in collecting and displaying old beds.  Located in the 210 east street, the museum is also known as “Zhao’s Hall”.  Covering an area of 1200sqm, it collects tens of the essence works of old beds in southern China from Ming, Qing dynasty and modern times.  Moreover, it has a large collection of various beds.  As a museum which gathers the great achievements of Chinese bed’s culture, it contains not only merchant princes’ luxurious beds, but also the common people’s simple and unsophisticated beds.

The first exhibition hall in the museum displays a canopy bed from Ming dynasty, which is in a shape of a clubfoot.  Simple modeling, balanced proportion and smooth lines reflect the vivid cultural style.  The designers paid much attention to making good use of hardwood’s natural color and veins.  As a result, the bed resembles nature itself without too much painstaking carving.  The second hall displays a batch of Babu Qiangong (One thousand workers) beds.  These beds with excellent material quality and craftsmanship are recognized as the essence of wooden bed.  A bed made in Qing dynasty which has a length 217cm, a width of 366cm and a height of 292cm, lasted 3 years.  Finished by 1000 workers, it was named as “Qiangong” (one thousand workers) Bed.   It is easy to imagine how luxurious and exquisite the bed is.  Now the bed is commended as the “Greatest Treasure of the Museum”.  As the great achievements of broad and profound Chinese culture, all of the beds in this museum are good reflections of Chinese working people’s excellent handicraft art.  Compared with counting how many beds are displayed in the museum, experiencing their historical contents is more important and meaningful when you visit the One Hundred Beds Museum in southern China.

Wuzhen

Jack Li
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