Chinese Altar Table in Beech Wood
Suzhou, circa 1850
This is one of the most beautiful and well preserved altar tables we have seen in recent years, crafted in beech wood and originating from the city of Suzhou in Jiangsu province. It has some classic decorative features of Chinese altar tables, including the carved 'cloud head' spandrels at the top of each leg as well as a carved 'ruyi' between each set of legs, denoting power and good fortune. The raised flange at each end of the table top shows its religious purpose as a display surface in the home for offerings to ancestors including vases of flowers, incense burners and food and drink. Today the table would be stunning as a large console in a reception area.