Small Altar Table with Decorative Lectern
Zhejiang, circa 1860
This rare nineteenth century piece was handcrafted in Zhejiang province as a tabletop altar for ancestor worship. It features three drawers, which would have been used to store ritualistic items such as candles and incense. A flat, carved wooden stand is designed to fold down when not in use to support paintings or photos of the family ancestors being honored. The heirloom is exquisitely adorned with carvings of flowers, people, dragons, and six "foo dogs" mounted on the guard rail, protecting the altar from evil sprits.
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