Overview


The definitive work on an area of Chinese design, long recognized as an important folk art. 1,239 designs are shown, with titles, commentaries, and other information: 265 groups of design based on parallelogram, octagon, hexagon, single focus frames, wedge-lock, parallel waves, swastikas, U-scroll, and more.
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Chinese Lattice Designs

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Overview


The definitive work on an area of Chinese design, long recognized as an important folk art. 1,239 designs are shown, with titles, commentaries, and other information: 265 groups of design based on parallelogram, octagon, hexagon, single focus frames, wedge-lock, parallel waves, swastikas, U-scroll, and more.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486146225
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 11/5/2012
  • Series: Dover Pictorial Archive
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 469
  • Sales rank: 1,075,209
  • File size: 79 MB
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CHINESE LATTICE DESIGNS


By Daniel Sheets Dye

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 1974 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-14622-5



CHAPTER 1

A. PARALLELOGRAM


This group is far more widespread than the number of plates given here suggests. Taking China as a whole, a greater number of lattice windows fall within this section than within any other of the twenty-six groups. In Japan, also, one finds that most lattice windows are of this type. Its simplest form is not presented here, but is merely suggested. The reader may easily envisage it by eliminating all flowers and toggles from 3b, and filling in cross- bars until there is a simple allover square pattern. Such a window is used today, and has been extensively used all through China. It is simple, cheap, and strong. Symbolically it represents the deity of earth. It is employed in square windows of eighteen to twenty-five squares on a side for the movable upper section and in four to six rows of equal width in the stationary lower portion.

Variations in this pattern include open centers four or more units square in the upper section, as well as oblong vents in the lower. Again, some windows stand vertically and others horizontally. Some have all bars on the diagonal, such as 3a, with no toggles and no voiding. Another pleasing window in the simple square has one or two large reinforced squares within the outer frame, which emphasizes the symbol earth (cf. A: Parallelogram).


2ac. EMPTY SQUARES IN OUTLINE

a. Shop, Chengtu, Szechwan, 1750 A.D. b, c. Temple outside Canton, Kwangtung, 1750 A.D.

Although these windows are far separated in location, there seems to be real relationship between them. Such windows are now unusual in these localities. b and c are completed by mirror-image on the right-hand side, with the center of symmetry in the middle of the light spots on the right. Soochow, Kiangsu, in 1635 had lattice closely related to these specimens.


3a, b. SQUARE LATTICE WITH FLOWERS

Buddhist temple, Mount Omei, Szechwan, 1850 A.D.

a. If one replaces all ornamentation by straight bars on the diagonal a fine window results, made up of two diagonals crossing at the center and surrounded by crossed and concentric frames up to the number seventeen (cf. D12a—13). But this plate has spaces and ornamentation which include smaller crossed and concentric frames both in squares and in octagons. There are two oblong octagons which cross each other through the center. These octagons are somewhat unusual in the way each is divided down the center.

b. This variation of a simple design by the mere addition of toggles is a very common device.


3a—9b. OMEI WINDOWS

Buddhist temples, Mount Omei, Szechwan, 1750—1900 A.D.

Mount Omei and the foothill region, especially to the west of the mountain, have windows of one general type. These are classified in several groups, since structure determines classification; but there has been so much uniform development in this region that the classification has been most difficult. The following groups contain most of the Omei windows: A3a—9b; B9a—10b; B11b—12a; B14ab; D28a—36b; G2a—4a; H10b—12a; L3a—7b; O8a—9; Z6ab. There are a few other single plates scattered through the groups.


There are individual variations, but the general characteristics of these windows are as follows:

(1) Squares are usually in vertical-horizontal relation.

(2) Spaces and X-substitutions incorporate the octagon.

(3) Ornament is applied in such a way as to give five directions or focalizations.

(4) The endless line is used in some form.

(5) Units are small, so that windows transmit a relatively small amount of light.

(6) There is usually an enframing border of small units, or a frame just within the external one (cf. 3b—7b).

(7) The external surface of most bars is flat, giving a right-angled bead.


It would seem that window-design in this section has been more consistent than has that in many other parts of Szechwan. It suggests types widespread during the Ming dynasty and earlier.

Similar ones are found in distant localities where fashions changed but slowly. Chang Hsien-chung's devastation at the end of the Ming dynasty did not so seriously affect this section. In spite of the comings and goings of pilgrims this area remained in some respects a backwater, and retained the old forms through the Ch'ing dynasty.

It is curious that the Buddhist swastika scarcely found a foothold on Mount Omei, with its numerous Buddhist temples, and its pilgrims coming from afar. The writer attributes this to the fact that the general type of these windows antedates widespread use of the swastika in lattice design. Additional information in regard to Omei windows may be found under D28a—36b.

4a. Note the interlocking squares, the border of unit squares, and the five-direction ornaments.

4b. Note the interlocking oblong octagon-squares. The flowers somewhat conceal the octagons.

5a. The cross-bars in threes are unusual today. The large octagon stands alone, and the window as a whole is not successful.

5b. The central octagon and the external octagon are pleasing.

6a. The octagons seem involved with a maze of lines. The two opposed waves across the center are continued in the neighboring windows in the same bent.

6b. The octagons, the pseudo-octagons, the squares, a few endless looped lines, and the right-angled waves that extend to the other windows of the bent are worth noting.

7a. This is one of the finer windows which is worth analyzing to show the use of the octagon-square. The oblong crossed octagons at the center, the severed ends of oblong octagons to the right and to the left with reversed and smaller ones inside, and the large outlined octagon enframing the center are effective.

7b. This was done by a master of technique like the designer of 7a.

8ab. These are not very common at Mount Omei or elsewhere.

9ab. The triple cross-bars are rare in China today. The peculiar looped squares at the four corners are also unusual.


10a. VERTICAL AND HORIZONTAL BARS

Provenance in Szechwan uncertain, 1775 A.D.

This window was probably found in an Omei temple, but specific data are lacking.


10b. VERTICAL-HORIZONTAL BAR LATTICE

Chengtu, Szechwan, 1775 A.D.

Windows of this sort are very common throughout China. Single, triple, or quintuple cross- bars at top and bottom and in the middle, with regular vertical bars, make simple and effective windows. The band across the middle may be wider or narrower than that at either end. These windows afford good material for a study of the effect of lines and their number and spacing.

This type of window with the double waist was popular during the Ming dynasty and probably before. A number of patterns are shown in the Yüan-yeh, published near Soochow, Kiangsu, in 1635 A.D. Most Japanese lattice windows appear from internal evidence to have been derived from windows such as these.


B. OCTAGON, OR OCTAGON-SQUARE

This species comprises those allover designs which utilize the variants in proportion, angles, bars, and spacings of the allover octagon square. Large octagons and small squares between each group of four give one emphasis, equal-sided octagons and squares, another. By changing the angles until the square becomes a lozenge and the octagon conforms, still a third effect is produced. This group was much used during and after the North Sung dynasty.


2ah. VARIANTS OF THE OCTAGON-SQUARE

d, f, h. Canton, before 1753 A.D., in Thomas Chippendale's The Director. a, c. Chengtu, 1900 A.D. b, e, g. Dye, 1932 A.D.

The octagon series has many variants, but these six plates illustrate some of the basic methods of use.

a. Octagons in diagonal contact with "square" side short.

b. Repetition of a with its superposition one half-step to the right, in dotted line. This device is common in Szechwan and in some other parts of the country. It does not often fill a window, owing to structural weakness. Essentially this is the design noted in Finley's Old Patchwork Quilts, a "crown of thorns" quilt made in Connecticut in 1830, and a "garden maze" of about the same time which is remarkably like this superimposed octagon-square allover.

c. Octagons in horizontal (and vertical) contact, with "square" corners short.

d. Octagons placed in horizontal contact by the insertion of hexagons between the squares.

e. Octagons in diagonal contact with "square" sides long (cf. a).

f. Telescoping the octagons until they interlock is another variant of this device, which Chippendale used in his doors.

g. Alternating large and small octagons in diagonal contact with oblong rectangles arranged vertically and horizontally instead of with squares make this allover system.

h. When e is expanded until the octagons no longer touch, and short bars are introduced, this design is obtained. The Chinese character for "work" or "workmanship," I, (&u 2f') is suggested by the short bar and its contacts. Chippendale employed this, but it came from Canton.


3a. EQUILATERAL OCTAGONS

Residence, Chengtu, Szechwan, 1725 A.D.

Octagon-square allover in simple form. The elements are of equal length, and the internal angles in the units are equal.


3b. OCTAGON-SQUARE BATS

Shihfang, a foothill town a day and a half northeast of Chengtu, Szechwan, 1825 A.D.

This combination of shapes and symbols is somewhat crowded, but has more unity than might be expected. To be sure, the square and the octagon go together. Probably the character for "happiness" is written on the paper pasted over the window at Chinese New Year, so as to complete the "Five happiness" symbol. Structurally this window is not strong in wood.


4a. SINGLE OBLONG OCTAGON-LOZENGE ALLOVER.

Chengtu, 1850 A.D.

This sketch is inferior, as it was one of the first made. The lines are unequal, but the window is effective.


4b. OBLONG OCTAGON-LOZENGE.

Hankow, Hupeh, 1850 A.D.

This window is not so obviously centered as some, but the octagons and lozenges are alike vertical in intent.


5a. OCTAGONAL BROCADE

Street-side, Luchow, Szechwan, 1825 A.D.

When the twelve light spots within the octagons of this pattern were equalized in 1092A.D., the pattern was called "The Adjusted Twelve."


5b. OBLONG INTERLOCKED OCTAGONS

Ch'ang-yüan, Wuchang, Hupeh(?), 1650 A.D.(?)

This is an excellent variation of octagon-square, hardly suitable for a large window.


6a. OCTAGON, CONCENTERED SQUARES, AND CLOUD-BOARD

Hsinchang, Szechwan, 1850 A.D.

A cloud-board is a square with one quadrant omitted (cf. &s 1f). It is done in metal or resonant stone and suspended by one corner so as to hang symmetrically. It serves as a musical instrument. In this window the cloud-board stands on one point, and is outlined by the diagonal lines.


6b. OCTAGON-SQUARE WITH SUPPLEMENTAL SQUARE

Hankow, Hupeh, 1850 A.D.


7a. ENFRAMED OCTAGON AND SQUARE

White Dragon temple, Mount Omei, Szechwan, 1800 A.D.


7b. SQUARES, GREEK CROSSES, AND OCTAGONS

Street-side, Chengtu, Szechwan, 1825 A.D.

The development of the squares, as well as their size, almost masks the octagons.


8a. SEPARATED OCTAGONS AND SQUARES

Hankow, Hupeh, 1825 A.D., and also Shaohing, Chekiang, 1775 A.D.

This design is a simple variation of 3a.


8b. OCTAGON-SQUARE SUBDIVIDED BY CROSS-BARS.

Luchow, Szechwan, 1850 A.D. Also found at Paocheng, Shensi, of the same date or earlier.


9a. OCTAGON-SQUARE IN SPECIAL PATTERN

Buddhist temple, Mount Omei, Szechwan, 1850 A.D.


9b. UPRIGHT RECTANGLES AND OCTAGONS

Buddhist temple, Mount Omei, Szechwan, 1900 A.D.

This window is only a variant of the preceding one.


10a. CROSSED AND CENTERED OCTAGON-SQUARE

Buddhist temple, Mount Omei, Szechwan; 1850 A.D.

This excellently illustrates the combining possibilities of the octagon-square. Two systems of octagon-square, and two systems of rectangular supports unite in this window.


10b. COMPLEX OCTAGON SQUARE

Buddhist temple, Mount Omei, Szechwan, 1850 A.D.

This variant of 10a exhibits an interesting diagonal checkerboard.


11a. INTERLOCKED OCTAGONS WITH CENTERED SQUARES

Chengtu, Szechwan, 1800 A.D.

Squares, octagons, and windwheels hardly seem to be kindred motifs, but the windwheels so disguise the overlapping systems of octagon-square that the design merely appears as a set of octagons in which the windwheels are inscribed within the central squares.


11b. IRREGULAR OCTAGON-SQUARE

Buddhist temple, Mount Omei, Szechwan, 1750 A.D.


12a. COMPLEX OCTAGON—SQUARE

Buddhist temple, Mount Omei, Szechwan, 1875 A.D.


12b. OBLONG OCTAGON—SQUARE SUPERIMPOSED

Minshan, on Yachow-Chengtu road, Szechwan, 1725 A.D.


13a. IRREGULAR OCTAGON—SQUARE

Buddhist temple, Mount Omei, Szechwan, 1850 A.D. Octagons are separated and the squares are replaced by the swastika of R14c, with an additional small square.


13b. COMPOUND OCTAGON—SQUARE DESIGN

Chengtu, Szechwan, 1825 A.D.

The interlocked squares in this octagon-square design are unique. They were common as a simple pattern during the Ming dynasty and later, but not in combination with the octagon in this manner (cf. H 8a).


14a. SEPARATED OCTAGON—SQUARE

Buddhist temple, Mount Omei, Szechwan, 1875 A.D.


14b. CONCENTERED OCTAGON—SQUARE

Buddhist temple, Mount Omei, Szechwan, 1875 A.D.


15a, b. OCTAGON, HEXAGON, AND TEN-CHARACTER

Penghsien, one day northwest of Chengtu, Szechwan, 1800 A.D. b. The proportion between thickness of bar and light spot is not that favored by the Chinese.


16a. SUPPORTED OCTAGON, HEXAGON, AND TEN-CHARACTER.

Chengtu, Szechwan, 1800 A.D.

The structurally weak design of 15a and 15b is supported by cross-bars.


16b. OCTAGON, HEXAGON, AND TEN—CHARACTER COMPLEX.

Chengtu, Szechwan, 1800 A.D.

A variant of the preceding.


17a, b; 18a, b. INTERLOCKED OBLONG OCTAGON—SQUARES

Yüan-yeh, Soochow, Kiangsu; 1635 A.D.

These are excellent variations of the regular equilateral octagon-square design. The four windows, as far as the writer knows, are of a type not now employed.


19. CONCENTERED OCTAGONS

Chengtu, Szechwan, 1800 A.D.

This is a complicated system of octagon-squares supported upon diagonal cross-bars. The drawing is inferior, as it was one of those first made.


20. CHAIR—BOTTOM WEAVE

Temporary house, Chengtu, Szechwan, 1917 A.D.

After the fire of 1917 when one-fifth of all the houses within the city wall were burned, Chengtu put up many temporary houses. Many windows were made of woven bamboo splints and some were covered with paper. This window conveys a suggestion as to how some of the lattice designs have arisen.


C. HEXAGON

This might just as well be called the triangle group, as the hexagon is composed of six equilateral triangles. The hexagon (or triangle) holds its important position in single plane design for several reasons. It is structurally strong, enters into many combinations, interweaves, interlocks, and voids with great facility. Pleasing and harmonious permutations and combinations of the triangle and hexagon are legion. This group contains some of the finest and richest window patterns.


2a, b. SOME POSSIBILITIES OF THE TRIANGLE

Dye, 1931 A.D.

These two plates show a few of the many patterns which can be developed if one starts with a background composed of an allover of equal and regular triangles.


3a, b. TURTLE BACK, OR HEXAGONS

Residence, Chengtu, Szechwan, 1800 A.D.

In China the honeycomb is often termed the turtle-back, or turtle markings, or simply hexagon pattern. A century ago this design was used much more commonly than now. Skill, patience, and cheap labor are needed for such windows.


4a, b. BEGONIA FLOWER.

Yamen, Chengtu, Szechwan, 1700 A.D.

The empty hexagons show in outline the begonia flower, which gives this window its name.


5a, b. COAT-OF-MAIL FOR DOOR GODS

Chengtu, Szechwan, 1800 A.D.

These designs were more often found as armor on the door gods than they were in window grilles, but they, together with the gods, have almost disappeared from the streets of Chengtu.


6a. HEXAGON—TRIANGLE AND FLOWER

Chengtu, Szechwan, 1800 A.D.


6b, c. TRIANGLES, QUADRILATERALS, AND HEXAGONS

Manchu city, Chengtu, Szechwan, 1800 A.D.

These two examples come from different streets in the same section. The narrow vertical bars are thinner than the diagonals, which is unusual in Chinese lattice.


7a, b. FOURFOLD INTERLOCKED HEXAGON

a. Chengtu, Szechwan, 1875 A.D. b. Canton, Kwangtung, 1750 A.D.

This optical illusion design is actually made up of four allover hexagon patterns. It is frequently seen on brick walls at the sides of entrance gates.


8a, b. COMPOUND TURTLE—BACK AND CIRCLES

Wên-shu Yüan, Chengtu, Szechwan, 1825 A.D.

In the original window the centers were at one time touched with gold.


9a. COMPOUND HEXAGONS

Location and date, same as 8a, b.

This design is closely akin to the Ming pattern of C11. There is a plate like this one among the Ch'ang-yüan designs, but with a slight modification.


9b. CROSSED HEXAGONS

Shop, Shaohing, Chekiang, 1850 A.D.

The large hexagons are deeper than the bars of the two sets of smaller ones. This practise is unusual in Szechwan. In the original the depressed bars are in black and gold, while the others are in red and gold. In both cases the gold is on the outer face of the bars.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from CHINESE LATTICE DESIGNS by Daniel Sheets Dye. Copyright © 1974 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

DOVER PICTORIAL ARCHIVE SERIES,
Title Page,
Copyright Page,
INDEX OF DESIGNS BY GROUPS,
THE PREFACE,
LITERARY SOURCES,
TECHNIQUE OF CONSTRUCTION,
CLASSIFICATION,
ILLUSTRATED CLASSIFICATION INDEX,
THE MASTERPIECE OF THE TYPE,
HISTORY OF CHINESE LATTICE,
CLASSIFICATION OUTLINE,
A. PARALLELOGRAM,
B. OCTAGON, OR OCTAGON-SQUARE,
C. HEXAGON,
D. SINGLE FOCUS FRAMES,
E. DOUBLE FOCUS FRAMES,
F. TRIPLE FOCUS FRAMES,
G. QUINTUPLE FOCUS FRAMES,
H. NO FOCUS FRAMES,
I. WEDGE—LOCK,
J. PRESENTATION,
K. OUT-LOCK,
L. IN-OUT BOND,
M. THE HAN LINE,
N. PARALLEL WAVES,
O. OPPOSED WAVES,
P. RECURVING WAVE,
Q. LOOP-CONTINUED,
R. LIKE SWASTIKAS,
S. UNLIKE SWASTIKAS,
T. CENTRAL JU I,
U. ALLOVER JU I,
V. S-SCROLL,
W. U-SCROLL,
X. RUSTIC ICE-RAY,
Y. SYMMETRICAL ICE-RAY,
Z. SQUARE AND ROUND,
SUPPLEMENT,
SUPPLEMENT TO ALPHABET,

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