Table Screen with Soapstone Panel

c. 1850
$2,880 USD
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Dimensions
W: 17.5" D: 10.75" H: 18.75"
Materials
Northern Elmwood
Lacquer
Soapstone
Purchase Quantity
Collection #
CMCL032
Estimated Shipping
$250

Prevalent in fine Chinese interiors as early as the Tang dynasty (618-906), standing screens with decorative stone panels served numerous functions as portable architecture. Used to section off a room or as a backdrop to a throne or floral arrangement, large screens allowed a space to be shaped to one's every need.

Also known as spirit screens, smaller table screens such as this were often used to block drafts and other intrusions in a scholar's workspace. Like every aspect of a scholar's studio, such screens were ornamented with images that inspired contemplation and added beauty to its surroundings.

This 19th-century screen is comprised of a square soapstone panel set in a footed frame decorated by oblong cut-outs and floral panels. The stone panel is carved with a lively scene of courtly life on one side, and a reclining mythical qilin protector on the other. Divine and peaceful creatures, qilin are believed to be benevolent protectors of those with good intentions. The wooden frame is finished with a layer of dark brown lacquer, now beautifully worn from centuries of use.

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“I love working with PAGODA RED. When I’m looking for something distinctive for one of my clients, I can be sure I’ll find it there. Betsy has an incredible eye for the beautiful and unique and she continues to offer one of the best collections of Chinese furniture and decorative art.”

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