Chinese Lattice Designs
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Chinese Lattice Designs

Daniel Sheets Dye

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eBook - ePub

Chinese Lattice Designs

Daniel Sheets Dye

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About This Book

Chinese craft design excelled in the manipulation of geometric space and reached its highest point in the design of window lattices on Chinese houses. Long recognized as an important folk art, window lattices have been generally neglected as an art form and this book is the first work on the subject since the 17th century. Fortunately, it is also the definitive work on the subject, and though no book can present a complete coverage of Chinese lattice, this book is a great classic study and an incredibly rich source of design for Westerners.
More than 1200 designs are shown here, arranged in a clear system of classification that includes 22 areas of related design — borders, brackets, tail pieces, and so on. The lattices are classified according to one basic figure or concept, and the hundreds of beautiful design variations fall into only 26 categories: parallelogram, octagon or octagon square, hexagon, single focus frames, double focus frames, triple focus frames, quintuple focus frames, no focus frames, wedge-lock, presentation, out-lock, in-out bound, the Han line, parallel waves, opposed waves, recurving wave, loop-continued, like swastikas (a Buddhist symbol), unlike swastikas, central Ju I, allover Ju I, S-scroll, U-scroll, rustic ice-ray, symmetrical ice-ray, and square and round. Each category is introduced in sections at the front. In addition, there is usually a short description for each design and every design is designated by name, location, and approximate date of construction.
Professor Dye spent over 21 years studying and copying lattices all over China, and because of the ravages of time and changing cultural values, this collection can probably never be duplicated. Balanced, intricate, sometimes asymmetrical, usually harmonious, these lattice designs present a wealth of material for the Western commercial artist, textile designer, pattern-maker, and craftsman. Reflecting their Chinese heritage, these designs are universal and can be used almost anywhere.

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Asian Art


Even a hasty survey of the lattice window plates from A to Z leaves one with the realization that other factors should be included in a study of lattice: lattice windows must have a setting. Some of this background material which seems relevant is included in this supplement. In this section the writer has purposely omitted extensive comments. Cross-references might have been given in more detail, and much additional comment regarding artistic cross-currents, but this would detract from the main purpose of the book. A few of the plates have no provenance noted. Some of the borders have been taken from windows in this book, and adapted.


The collection of lattice and grille under &a called Tail Pieces might have been distributed under appropriate groups from A to Z; but because of the special frames as well as the unusual designs it seems appropriate to present them in this way.

Buddhist temple, Ningpo, Chekiang, 1825 A.D.
The shape of the frame is an imitation of the Chou and pre-Chou Pi signifying Deity of Heaven (cf. C 10b and Y 2b). The inner frame is too narrow exactly to reproduce the original. A somewhat similar pattern is found in the Chinese book Yüan-yeh, of Soochow, 1635 A.D. This window is about 4 feet 6 inches, or 150 centimeters, across, being larger than most; it is one of a pair across the front and central section of the building.
&a 1b
&a 1a
&a 2a
&a 2b
&a 2c
&a 2d
&a 2e
&a 2f
Ts’ao T’ang monastery, outside South Gate, Chengtu, Szechwan, 1875 A.D.
This comes from the temple which especially commemorates the T’ang dynasty poet Tu Fu. It was the fine lattice in this temple that influenced me to start collecting lattice patterns.

Mohammedan mosque, Chengtu, Szechwan, 1900 A.D.
Patterns similar to these are found in Group K. In Chengtu the few mosques, each with its Mecca niche, are simple. They use Chinese lattice windows, but without symbolic significance.

Yüan-yeh, Soochow, Kiangsu, 1635 A.D.
These designs were used in windows. e is an almost exact replica of a window shown in a book of prints from Japan.

a. Fire ...

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Citation styles for Chinese Lattice Designs
APA 6 Citation
Dye, D. S. (2012). Chinese Lattice Designs ([edition unavailable]). Dover Publications. Retrieved from (Original work published 2012)
Chicago Citation
Dye, Daniel Sheets. (2012) 2012. Chinese Lattice Designs. [Edition unavailable]. Dover Publications.
Harvard Citation
Dye, D. S. (2012) Chinese Lattice Designs. [edition unavailable]. Dover Publications. Available at: (Accessed: 14 October 2022).
MLA 7 Citation
Dye, Daniel Sheets. Chinese Lattice Designs. [edition unavailable]. Dover Publications, 2012. Web. 14 Oct. 2022.