Low Table (kang zhuo) with Dragons in Clouds

Low Table (kang zhuo) with Dragons in Clouds

黃花梨雲龍紋炕桌

1600s–1700s

Rosewood (huanghuali) and metal

Overall: 29 x 97.2 x 69.2 cm (11 7/16 x 38 1/4 x 27 1/4 in.)

Severance and Greta Millikin Collection 1964.228

Location

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Note the curved legs, the elaborate openwork carving, and metal-fitted corners in the form of bats.

Description

Originally, low tables were placed on a kang, a raised platform made of brick and heated by a fire underneath, which served as a bed and living space on cold winter days in northern China. During the daytime, these platforms could accommodate two sitters with a kang table placed between them.

In the warmer south, kang tables were used on daybeds made of wood. By the Ming and Qing dynasties, furniture makers used rare tropical hardwood, such as huanghuali, known as rosewood.

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