Painted Two Drawer Gansu Table
Gansu, circa 1850
This interesting little table looks very similar to Tibetan furniture, but is in fact from Gansu province - still in western China but further north. While the style is close to Tibetan tables, the paintings are definitely Chinese. Two fierce looking dragons in gold adorn the centre of the table top, with further dragons in the surrounding frame. There are long life symbols at each corner of the top surface and a classic scroll pattern that is commonly seen on painted furniture throughout China. The frame also includes swastikas - a symbol in Buddhism for auspiciousness and prosperity. The side panels and the two drawers at the front are in yellow, decorated more simply with flowers. The table would have been used at low level - probably placed on a heated raised 'kang' platform in a Chinese home. It is a quite rare piece today and would make an usual little coffee table in a modern home.