Table Screen with Mirror

c. 1850
$13,880 USD
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W: 23.0" D: 10.5" H: 36.0"
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Screens served numerous functions as portable architecture in Chinese homes. The largest examples sectioned off entire rooms, allowing a family to shape the spaces in their home to any need. Smaller table screens, such as this one, were often used to block drafts and other intrusions in a scholar's workspace. Like every aspect of a scholarly studio, the screen would be ornamented with images that inspired contemplation and focus. This rosewood example is carved with auspicious flowers and fruits, a constant source of well-wishes for the observer. The mirrored surface of the screen provides the viewer with a direct relationship between themselves and these symbols of prosperity.

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