Cinnabar Red Altar Table

c. 1850
$9,800 USD
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W: 112.25" D: 18.25" H: 34.0"
Northern Elmwood
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In traditional Chinese homes, slender, long tables such as this one are used to hold musical instruments, flowers, or vases. Often referred to as altar tables, this narrow table form is also used as a domestic altar for familial ancestor worship.

This grand, 19th-century altar table is beautifully proportioned with a top crafted from a thick plank of northern elmwood (yumu), marked with seamless antique repairs and deep grooves to the wood grain. The floating-panel top ends in rounded, everted flanges, a characteristic feature of traditional altar tables. Crafted using mortise-and-tenon joinery, without nails or screws, the table features straight legs linked with floor stretchers and topped by ornate spandrels carved in relief with dragons and clouds.

The wide legs of the table are inset with openwork panels carved with an intricately rendered tableau of two magpies fluttering amid a thicket of bamboo and plum blossoms. In Chinese culture, two magpies set amongst bamboo and plum is an auspicious wedding motif that symbolizes double happiness for the bride and groom (zhúméi shuāngxǐ). The long table is enveloped in a rich, cinnabar-red lacquer finish, lightly faded along the top and contrasted by subtle gilt accents.

Additional Dimensions:
Table Apron to Floor: 28.25"H

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Suzanne Lovell | Suzanne Lovell, Inc.

“I am particularly fond of PAGODA RED as we have known the family for so long. Betsy is a professional in every way and her intelligent taste comes from a long line of family knowledge in the arts. She and her team are the very best to work with and we find treasures with every visit!”

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