Carpenter's Inkline Reel

c. 1850
$588 USD
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W: 8.5" D: 3.5" H: 3.0"
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 flowing, sculptural lines that belie its practical function. This ingenious tool was used to mark straight lines, incorporating a winding wheel that unraveled across an inkwell, marking thread as it was unwound. The inked thread was then drawn across a measured surface and anchored by a stickpin to stamp 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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Suzanne Lovell | Suzanne Lovell, Inc.

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