Chinese Antique Screen with Carved Figures
Zhejiang, circa 1850
This stunning screen dates to the middle of the nineteenth century, where it was produced for a home in the city of Hangzhou in Zhejiang province. It is made from elm wood, with four tall panels hinged to create a concertina style screen. The panel are each split into three sections, with the small upper and large middle sections carved through with intricate lattice work and the bottom sections in relief.
The workmanship is superb, with the central sections each showing a central figure set with a compelling geometric pattern made up of an intricate jigsaw of pieces connected with mortise and tenons and with floral style spacers. The central characters include two males and two females - representing various Chinese deities. The lower sections in relief depict other auspicious creatures, including a dragon, a phoenix and a mythical 'kylin'.
The screen would originally have been designed to move around a home, creating a flexible, private space by sectioning off part of a room. It would still make a wonderful, impressive room divider today or could be used as a dressing screen in a bedroom. The dimensions shown are for each individual panel.
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