Huanghuali in Chinese Furniture

Alternate name / botanical classification:  "Yellow Flowering Pear", Dalbergia Odorifera

Huanghuali is classified as a rosewood, hence its genus and physically a dense hardwood with a sweet fragrance and colour ranging from honey to purple brown.  As it ages, a yellowish patina emerges. It has a distinctive wave like grain that mirrors mountainous landscape.

The main source of Huanghuali is in Hainan Island, China and North Vietnam.

Possibly the most sought after wood, particularly among Chinese buyers, Huanghuali is considered highest quality and superior of hardwoods. Furniture and scholar items made from this wood command some of the highest prices in the Chinese Antiques market due to its arguably extinct status.

When trade policies were revised in 1572, permitting the import of wood from South East Asia, the hardwood furniture era began.

Many Huanghuali tables, chairs, desks, screens and cabinets originate from the Ming and early Qing Dynasty periods. During this period, there was actually little distinction between Loahuali and Hongmu. Loahuali is catagorised in the same genus but with a wider grain and many small knots, whereas Hongmu is darker and has a less aggressive grain profile.