Carved Rootwood Display Stand
Chinese Table, carved in imitation of a section of rootwood. The irregular flat top supported by a network of gnarled “roots.” Objects made from naturally contorted wood have been appreciated in China for centuries. These organic forms appealed to Buddhists and Daoists seeking to convey an attitude of humility and an affinity with nature.As early as the Tang dynasty (618-907), paintings depict Buddhist monks and holy men with rootwood chairs and tables. During the Ming dynasty, such furnishings reflected humble, scholarly attitudes.
The untamed character of the objects could be seen as a symbol of the rejection of opulence, in favor of beauty beyond human control. In later centuries, scholar-aesthetes found the rustic features of the gnarled wood reminiscent of ancient trees that symbolized the wisdom of sages. During the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), fantastic wood forms appealed to the flamboyant tastes of the period, and many wealthy Chinese collectors surrounded themselves with furnishings of twisted wood. Paintings of this period also depict lavishly dressed young women or wealthy merchants, as well as monks and priests, seated on rootwood furniture.
Circa: 19th century
Dimensions: 18" x 12" x 11"
Inventory number: FR1439