Straight Legged Walnut Altar Table
Shanxi, circa 1860
This simply styled table looks quite modern in design, but dates to the mid nineteenth century. It is made from walnut, a lovely material that was popular with furniture makers in Shanxi though less common than elm wood. The dark finish gives a warm, luxurious look, but still shows the character and age from years of use on the top surface. The moulded legs are matched by the straight stretchers and vertical supports - all beautifully constructed with mitred mortise and tenon joints.
The table would have been used as a family altar in Shanxi province, used to burn joss sticks and to display offerings to deceased family members, whose portraits would have been hung above. Today its minimalist design and rich finish would allow it to fit effortlessly into either a contemporary or period style setting, ideal as a hallway console.
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