Black Lacquer Ruyi Altar

c. 1900
$5,680 USD SOLD
W: 71.0" D: 15.0" H: 34.5"
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In a traditional Chinese home, long narrow console tables are often placed in the main hall and set with beautiful objects such as instruments, flowers, or porcelains. Referred to as altar tables, these slender tables are also used as a domestic altars for familial ancestor worship, laden with incense, figures, and offerings.

This recessed-leg altar table dates to the early 20th century and is elegantly designed with balanced proportions and impactful use of negative space. Crafted with mortise-and-tenon joinery, the table features a floating panel top, scrolled spandrels, and straight legs inset with cutout side panels. The side panels are perforated with large ruyi and flower accents, trimmed with a subtle beaded edge. Originally a Daoist symbol from ancient Chinese mythology, the ruyi is an auspicious symbol that references the lingzhi fungus, also known as reishi, a mushroom with magical properties thought to ensure immortality. A layer of black lacquer cloaks the exterior with a glossy finish and smooth patina.

Additional Dimensions:
Table Apron to Floor: 32"H

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