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Two drawer painting table

18th century

Two drawer painting tableOrigin: Hebei province

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A central piece of furniture for the scholar's studio was the painting table upon which calligraphy and art was composed and practised. As Chinese brush painting is best done standing up, so painting tables are generally large and  tall.

This particular painting table has the simple clear lines which is reminiscent of the style popular during the Ming dynasty (1368CE - 1644CE). The legs of the table are slightly tapered for structural strength and stability. There are "ruyi" carvings on the aprons symbolising good wishes.

On the ends of the table there are 'blind' drawers for discreetly storing the artist's treasured items such as red ink paste and seals.