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19th Century Chinese Screen

$9,000

About

This Chinese standing screen has a main panel, and a lower panel flanked by two smaller ones, which were made in the 19th century as fretwork window panels for a house. In the 20th century they were salvaged, assembled, and mounted in a matching hardwood stand as a freestanding screen for indoor use. Only the large panel, however, was intricately carved on one side, and fitted with a fine mesh-reed screen to keep buzzing insects from getting inside the house. Presumably that house, like modern ones, incorporated other panels of identical design. Appearing dead center in the large panel is a qilin, the mythological hoofed creature that could fly, and, at the approach of a malefactor, spout flames at the mouth. Appearing when needed, and disappearing when not, they were believed to protect the houses of wise and benevolent men. As such, they were placed at points of entry to houses. The qilin is set in a circle carved with four winged bats, which are symbols of prosperity in China, since the word for them, pronounced "fook," is also the word for wealth. Beyond this circle is an octagon, and beyond it are four more bats. Beyond them, in radiating tiers, are pairs of pine boughs in circular form, symbolizing steadfastness and longevity. And beyond them are what appear to be lotus flowers, symbolizing purity of heart and mind, since their white blossoms rise pure and unbesmirched from the muck of ponds. And finally, at the very top and bottom of the panel, are what appear to be plum blossoms, symbolizing perseverance and hope. Auspicious symbols all -- and well suited to the geomancy of the home known as feng shui.

Details

  • Dimensions
    Height: 73.5 in. (186.69 cm)Width: 56 in. (142.24 cm)Depth: 19 in. (48.26 cm)
  • Style
    Qing (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1890
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Seller Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU1061422847432

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping

    Ships From: New York, NY
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

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About the Seller
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Located in New York, NY
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Established in 1994
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