Chris W. just moved to our area from Texas. She and her husband are now planning to spend their retirement enjoying life on Lake Murray in Chapin, SC, just a short drive from the EuroLux Antiques gallery. Chris was looking for something large and unique to fill the space above their mantel. She chose this large antique Chinese window screen, which perfectly fit the bill.
The antique Chinese window screen dates to 1900 and it was rescued from a home scheduled for demolition in Hunan province. We imported it into the US to join the other antique Chinese screens and furniture in our gallery. The Late Qing Dynasty screen is ornately hand-carved in camphor wood and the geometric pattern of repeating circles symbolizes infinity and unbroken prosperity.
You can see the intricacy of the carvings in this close-up. The stylized dragon in antique Chinese furniture represents power, authority, and wealth, while the detailed carvings of bats add another dash of good luck!
The carved birds on the screen convey spirituality, the flowers represent growth, vitality, and beauty, and the peaches symbolize longevity. Late Qing Dynasty furniture and architectural elements like this should really be considered Folk Art.
Here’s the antique Chinese screen in Chris’ living room. Chris wanted to soften the sharp contrast between the black marble surrounding the fireplace and the white wood mantelpiece. We think the screen achieves that beautifully! The warm wood tone softens the space and the large size draws the eye up toward the high, dramatic ceilings.
At more than 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide, you can see how the screen balances the space nicely in Chris’ living room. The exotic nature of the antique Chinese screen fits with their home décor and also with their romantic history. Chris met her husband while stationed in the South Pacific during a Peace Corps stint! Not surprisingly, the couple has an interesting and varied collection of South Pacific handicrafts in their home.
The screen is typical of antique Chinese furniture from the Late Qing Dynasty era. During that time, the growing merchant class had more money to purchase fine furniture for their home. They liked ornately hand-carved decorative pieces to show off their status and wealth. They also enjoyed the rich symbolism of the carvings, offering wishes of good fortune. These pieces were handed down the generations, continuing the tradition of good luck!
Late Qing Dynasty furniture is often called The People’s Furniture and the beautiful craftsmanship still appeals to people all over the world… including customers right in our own backyard!