Exhibitions
ELEGANT FORMS - THE ARTISTRY OF CHINESE TABLES - Febuary 2016
Altfield Gallery is pleased to present a collection of fine Chinese tables in the Feb exhibition.
Chinese tables are perhaps China's most important contribution to the Asian furniture tradition. China is the only Asian country that left floor-level mat living, and adopted raised living centuries ago, and China therefore stands alone as the only country in Asia which has a fully developed range of furniture in its vocabulary, providing a rich assortment of forms for collectors and enthusiasts.

Tables have always played an important and varied role in the Chinese household, providing decorative surfaces for the practice of painting and calligraphy, the display of antiques and sculpture, the eating of meals, the playing of games, and also importantly the usage as altars and incense platforms for the veneration of ancestors.

In the collection being exhibited, graceful and highly decorated 18th century forms from Shanxi
stand next to unadorned examples from Hebei, that are identical in style to early Ming pieces. The contrast bears witness to the rich variety of styles found not just in tables, but also in all furniture from China's past.

Of particular interest in the collection for this exhibition are an elegant cypress plank sided table with scroll feet, a long table with reticulated scrollwork aprons, a scholar's table with wrapped-around stretchers, simulating bamboo furniture, a flush-sided painting table with giant-arm-braces, and a wine table with attached humpback stretches and ruyi-scroll spandrels. Many of the exhibited pieces display elegance and powerful forms. These tables work almost as modern sculpture, but with a function. They include an extraordinary collection of large tables which are displayed in Altfield Gallery Annex showroom in the warehouse.

We invite you to visit our showrooms in the Gallery as well as the Annex, and appreciate the wondrous Chinese furniture traditions of tables, which serve as superb decorative and functional pieces in today's contemporary d├ęcors.