Chinoiserie being a HUGE influence on Florida Vintage, follows one of our favorite motifs, Pagodas. Chinoiserie stemming from European aristocrats, focused on traditional asian motifs, such as foo dogs, elephants, koi fish, pagodas, and all things bamboo.
The Pagoda stems from the Indian Stupas, which was a dome structure used as burial for religious objects, which was relevant to the spread of Buddhism. The Pagoda consisting of five stories was first seen in 68 CE, constructed by Emporer Ming to spread Buddha’s teachings. The five layers represent the five major elements: earth, water, fire, wind and air. The pagoda is used to house ancient relics and sacred writings making it an essential place of worship.
Chinoiserie was used most famously in conjunction with the Rococo and Baroque design era of the 17th and 18th centuries making it extremely ornate and lavish.
Pagodas can be seen on ginger jars, wallpaper, handpainted onto furniture pieces, upholstery, and even lamps! It is a common regional structure that has become associated strongly in East Asia.
One of the most famous pagodas is in the Kew Gardens in London, they can even be found in the Chinese garden of friendship in Sydney, Australia, and the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden in Vancouver, Canada.
A pagoda is seen to represent symmetry, a symbol of balance and stability.