Decorative Carved Bed Fascia with Gold Painting
Zhejiang, circa 1850
This long, beech panel was saved from the front of a mid nineteenth century four-poster marriage bed, where it would have formed the lintel over the entrance. Today it would make an unusual wall decoration. It was made in Zhejiang province, eastern China and retains some of its original gold and black paint, contrasting with the paler tone of the beech wood. It is composed of three small panels at the top, with relief carvings picked out in gold showing a couple on the central panel and, at each side, various flowers including lillies as a symbol for a long and happy marriage. The larger section below depicts a scene from court, with numerous figures shown across the width of the panel. These carved parts are framed to the top and sides, with the sides ending in 'feet' carved in the shape of 'foo dogs' - the guardian lions of Chinese mythology.
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