Yunnan Large Carved Console
Yunnan, circa 1860
This exceptional, large console table is from Yunnan province in Southwest China, bordering Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam. The region is known for its diverse population of ethnic minorities including the Bai and Miao people. Furniture from the area is often recognisable by ornate, highly detailed carvings and this is a lovely example. Deep relief carvings on the two doors at each end, along with the six drawers, show various figures and scenes from Chinese legend - each picked out in extraordinary detail. The thick panel above the doors shows further relief carvings, incorporating nine figures set centrally within a gemoetric pattern that includes swastika symbols (an ancient symbol for well being and good luck).
The detail shown in the carvings is exquisite. Clearly, given the time and skill needed to produce the them, the table would have been made for someone of considerable wealth and status. The figures on the doors in particular show wonderful craftsmanship, each one with distinctive facial features The finish on the table is original - a dark, reddish brown lacquer that has worn in parts to show the paler wood underneath.
Perfect as an impressive large console in a reception area, the table could also be used as a wide, narrow desk, taking pride of place in a home office.
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