Rosewood palace lanterns, also known as the “Chinese Lantern,” is a traditional craft with oriental elements, incorporating painting, wood carving and glass craftsmanship.
It has been in existence for 600 years.
In the past, as lantern materials were rare and precious, only the royal families could have such beautiful lanterns.
It usually has four or eight sides, each of which features gorgeous paintings and writings.
Luo Minxin, a craftswoman, shared that the themes of palace lantern paintings are mostly plants, flowers, mountains and characters, such as lychees and silk-cotton trees, which are commonly seen in Guangzhou.
She said that during the Ming Dynasty’s treasure voyages, rosewood was imported to China from south Asia (as per legend). Artisans in Guangzhou used the wood to make rosewood furniture and lanterns.
Palace lanterns were first created in the Ming dynasty and popularized in the Qing dynasty.
At the time, the lanterns were precious gifts to the royal family. Later, they have been exported in large quantities and gained popularity in foreign countries.
The beautiful craft is now in decline, but there is still a group of craftsmen in Guangzhou who are dedicated to developing rosewood palace lanterns, bringing them from the royal family to the general public.