Table Screen with Soapstone Panel

c. 1850
$2,880 USD
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W: 17.5" D: 10.75" H: 18.75"
Northern Elmwood
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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.

Deaccessioned from the MacLean Collection of Asian Art.

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Elizabeth Krueger | Elizabeth Krueger Design

“PAGODA RED was extremely supportive in helping to pull accessory options together for the Lake Forest Showhouse. After providing them with details and our vision on how we were looking to finish our space, Laurene helped curate options that made it easy for us to edit and finalize. It's also no surprise that the unique pieces we used in our showhouse space were some of the first to sell.”

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