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China red sandalwood museum offers impressive wood carvings and furniture

The team here at The ToolPost is always happy to give wood carving enthusiasts - whether professional or amateur - a little helping hand with all manner of needs related to this fascinating, challenging and rewarding art. We can provide the timber and tools that you need for successful wood carving, many of them sourced from far-flung corners of the world.

It is such a far-flung corner to which we head for this news article, or more specifically, China. If you find yourself in east Beijing any time soon, be sure to check out the amazing museum there dedicated to the most luxurious form of wood carving of all: red sandalwood. The China Red Sandalwood Museum serves up many masterpieces in this type of wood, depicting various symbols of the country's culture.

If you want to discover a bit of the cultural heritage of China at the same time as learning a thing or two about wood carving, this institution is therefore a very satisfying use of your time. You'll find no private museum offering such an astonishingly in-depth collection of red sandalwood and furniture anywhere else in China. The building boasts some five storeys, with even its gate being an amazing wooden structure, built with traditional techniques according to the advice of experts from the city's Palace Museum.

Inside, there remains much to enthral British wood carving practitioners, such as a faithfully reproduced replica of the throne of the Qing Dynasty emperors. Made entirely from red sandalwood and with a covering of gold foil, the original can be found in the Palace Museum. You'll also find a reconstruction of the kind of bedroom designed for the wedding days of nobles, no nails or glue being present due to the way the various furniture components seamlessly fit together.

The museum was founded by multibillionaire Mrs Chen Laiwa, who was ranked as China's second richest woman in 2013. $32 million (19 million) of her $6 billion (3.6 billion) fortune was invested into the institution's foundation, and as far as the collection is concerned, Chen cites particular pride over the red sandalwood version of the Yongding Gate. The original gate may have been demolished in 1957, but this version has certainly won many admirers.

Perhaps the museum's crowning glory, however, is a massive 10-ton wood carving recreation of the Temple of Heaven's Hall of Good Harvest. It can be found on the top floor, and is almost worth the institution's 50 RMB (4.76) entry charge all by itself. In short, don't overlook this fine foreign attraction when you're considering where to go on holiday as an avid wood carver and customer of The ToolPost.

Editor's Note: The ToolPost ( is represented by the search engine advertising and digital marketing specialists Jumping Spider Media. Please direct all press queries to Louise Byrne. Email: or call: +44 (0)20 3070 1959 / +34 952 783 637.

1997-2010 P. Hemsley.  The information on this website is the copyright property of Peter Hemsley.  Coeur du Bois and The ToolPost are trading styles of Peter Hemsley.  Whilst reasonable efforts are made to ensure the accuracy of information presented, no liability can be accepted for errors in this information nor for contingencies arising therefrom.  If you are inexperienced in any aspect of woodworking, we would strongly counsel that you take a course of formal instruction before commencing to practice