Low Carved Kang Table
Shanxi, circa 1850
This unusual little table is of a type used in northern Chinese provinces like Shanxi, where it would have been placed on the 'kang' - a wood, earth or brick raised platform, heated from below, that formed the main living space during the colder months. The thick table top would have been used for serving or preparing food or drink or as an everyday work surface. The table is still in its original finish - the contrasting black and red lacquers once bright but now faded and worn to more muted colours. The top surface in particular is quite worn to show the natural colour of the elm wood underneath, leaving a wonderful patina. Three small drawers below the top surface are decorated with deep carvings of flowers, with a simple ring handle set centrally. The two panels below are fixed, but also feature some lovely floral carving. A charming little table that would work either as a small TV stand or as a little coffee table in front of a sofa.
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