Chinese Lattice Designs

Dover books have published some very inspiring source books. One of my favourites is Chinese Lattice Designs. The author, Daniel Sheets Dye, went out and laboriously documented thousands of window lattices on Chinese houses. He spent 21 years on this project. The book was first published in 1937.

The author came up with 27 types of Chinese Lattice. Rustic Ice-Ray is one such classification.

| Five versions of the Rustic Ice-Ray lattice design |

Mr Sheets Dye said ‘to appreciate the designs in this division, one needs to see ice forming on quiet water on a cold night. The Chinese term this ice-line, or lines formed by cracking ice’.

Flicking through the book the similarity in design of the light and airy Rustic Ice-Ray to the more earthly tessellating telecommunications manhole cover below jumped right out at me.

| Melbourne telecommunications manhole |

Julia Ritson

3 comments

  1. Anonymous

    Manhole covers YES ! You remind me that I have allways looked at them with curiosity over the years and wondered, kind of absent mindedly, why things have a certain pattern tradition. London is wonderfull for patterned sufaces, pattern on pattern on pattern on pattern.

  2. DW

    The ice ray design is one of my favourite type of Chinese lattice. Like you I only discovered it through Daniel Sheets Dye book. I have travelled through China and taken many photos of lattice in the touristy and not so touristy areas. It is great spotting the manhole cover in Melbourne with the design. Near my home in Sydney there is a circular pavement next to the Sydney Boys Grammar School that has been set out like the ice ray design. You have inspired me to put a picture of it up on my site.

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