Carved Antique Altar Table
Shanxi, circa 1920
At nearly three metres in length, this imposing altar table would make a real statement as a large console in a hallway or reception room. It comes from Shanxi province in central China and the original lacquer has largely been stripped back to a more natural colour. The panels between the legs feature intricately carved geometric patterns that incorporate 'rui' shapes to symbolise high rank and authority, while the spandrels at the top of each front leg each show a coiled dragon. The long table surface extends over the legs and each end is everted - a feature that denotes the table's original religious purpose as a display for offerings to ancestors.
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