Round Legged Elm Altar Table
Shanxi, circa 1820
This beautiful old table has a quite simple, almost contemporary style but dates from around two hundred years ago. It was produced in Shanxi province in central China and made from elm wood, with a lovely patterned grain particularly on the top surface. The thick rounded legs slot through supporting, straight stretchers into the wide, top frames to give a quite minimalist look. The table would have served originally as an altar table, placed against a wall below ancestor portraits and used as a surface for offerings to ancestors. The long, narrow shape is one rarely seen in western furniture and lends itself well as a large console table in a reception room. The old, dark finish has worn to a lovely patina and shows off the wonderful character of the wood.
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