Elm Altar Table
Shanxi, China, circa 1860
Tables like this one would have been placed centrally against the rear wall of the main reception room of the home, used as a surface for offerings to ancestors, or to show displays of flowers or favourite prized ornaments such as jade or bronzes. The large and imposing size is typical of these pieces along with the extended top surface ending in raised 'flanges'. This particular table shows the classic 'cloud head' carved design at the top of the legs both to the front and back, as well as double 'ruyi' symbols between each set of leg posts.
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