Chinese Antique Elm Painting Table
Shanxi, circa 1870
Referred to in China as painting tables, these types of tables were actually used not only for calligraphy and painting but as general work surfaces or for display. This one is from Shanxi in central China, in a simple, pure style that is so distinctive of much of the finer furniture of Ming and earl Qing periods. It is made from elm wood, with the original finish worn to leave a wonderful patina. The thick squared legs fit directly into the table top with curved aprons to the front and back, and are supported by double stretchers. Bursting with character, the table today would work well as a deep console to display vases and ornaments, or could be used as a desk in a home office.
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