Guardian Carpenter Line

c. 1850
$1,480 USD
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W: 9.0" D: 4.75" 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 is carved to depict a guardian fu dog with its paw upon an embroidered ball, a symbol of love and loyalty. 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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