Auspicious Gourd Carpenter Line

c. 1850
$688 USD
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W: 9.5" D: 5.5" H: 3.75"
Northern Elmwood
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Given the beauty and thoughtful design of traditional Chinese furniture, it’s no wonder that Qing-dynasty carpenter’s tools were accorded the same attention to detail. This remarkably intact 19th-century inkline reel was hand carved from northern elmwood with swirling clouds and auspicious double gourd motifs, symbols of longevity and protection. Used to mark straight lines, this ingenious tool runs a thread across an inkwell as its drawn across a measured surface. Anchored by a stickpin, the thread is then stamped to create a straight guide line. Once an essential component of a Chinese carpenter's toolkit, this reel lives on as a storied sculptural object.

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