Square Table in Tieli Wood
Suzhou, circa 1850
This simple, square table is from the city of Suzhou to the west of Shanghai - an important centre for furniture production during the late Ming period. The table dates back to the mid 19th century and is made from ironwood or 'tieli' in Chinese - a dense material that was readily available in southern China and was highly prized for furniture making. It is usually a greyish-black colour, with an open grain and course texture. Furniture made from tieli wood tended to be quite chunky, with little decoration, and this table is no exception. The legs are rounded and the top frames are thick, with a simple curved apron on each side. Great as a square dining table today.