Shaanxi Altar Table
Shaanxi, circa 1900
This beautiful altar table is a little less heavily carved than much of the furniture from Shaanxi province in central China, but still has some wonderful relief carvings on the four lower panels, as well as carvings on the side spandrels, right down to the cabriole legs and scroll effect on the feet. Once used in a temple to hold incense and offerings, it still has the original finish and is in excellent condition. The carvings on the smaller panels include swastikas - a symbol in Buddhism for good fortune and to represent the Buddha's footprints, while the larger central panels show flowers. While large, the table is a less imposing size than other altar tables and with three deep drawers it would work wonderfully today as an unusual console in a reception room.