Our customer Richard S. in Ft. Myers, FL, bought an antique Chinese altar table from us last year and boy, does it look great in the hallway of his home!
This is the antique Chinese altar table from Shanxi Province, China. It dates to the year 1900 and it is carved in elm with a scrolling cloud design on the apron. The symbolic scrolling cloud motif is probably the most typically carved decorative accent in antique Chinese furniture. The pretty carved flourish is intended to convey good fortune.
Richard used the antique altar table as a console table in his Florida home. I think it looks fantastic. The ceramics on top of the table and below it also have an Asian feel. Hmm, that carved wood chair just sliding shyly into the right of the photo also looks interesting. I’ll have to ask Richard about that next time he is in touch with us!
This shows more detail of the Late Qing Dynasty altar table and how nicely Richard accessorized it. The elm wood looks gorgeous against the marbled floor. Elm is one of the most frequently seen woods in antique Chinese furniture. It was popular due to the attractive grain and because it is very adaptable. It works beautifully for so many purposes. Elm was also valued because it is resistant to decay. That’s why we’re still enjoying this baby more than a century after it was made!
This side view shows the slenderness of the antique altar table, which makes it a perfectly elegant fit for the narrow hallway. I’m also admiring the floor rug and the dining area beyond! The altar table is typical of antique Chinese furniture from the Late Qing Dynasty era when the growing merchant class starting having more money to splurge on fine furniture. They liked hand-carved decorative pieces to show off their status and wealth. They also loved the symbolic blessing of the carvings, like the scrolling cloud design on this table.
I’ve written other posts about Chinese symbols on antique furniture if you want to learn more about the meanings of these decorative carvings. Thanks Richard for taking us inside your home. We hope the scrolling clouds on the antique Chinese altar table truly do bring you good fortune!
Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.