Antique Asian Works of Art from Ancient East
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Fine Carved Longyan Wood Tray

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Fine Carved Longyan Wood Tray
DESCRIPTION: A very fine Chinese tea tray carved in high relief and crafted from beautifully figured longyan wood. Skillfully hand carved in an irregular organic form depicting a lotus leaf with deeply upturned rims, the stem has been placed at one end with the edges throughout suggesting lotus pods with seeds. This gorgeous, large tray dates from the Qing dynasty, 18th C. PROVENANCE: From the Estate of Cynthia Phipps, NY. CONDITION: One repair to the end of the stem and one 2” age fissure on one side (see photos). DIMENSIONS: 17 ¾” long (45 cm) x 12” wide (30.5 cm) x 2” high (5 cm).

ABOUT LONGYAN WOOD: Longyan wood (meaning “dragon’s eye” in Chinese) is distinguished by its distinctively lustrous, highly figured grain which can appear to be striped, rippled or wavy. This grain pattern is created by the wood’s unique interlocking molecular structure. Its beauty is not easily revealed as the timber is difficult to season without splitting. Furthermore, its structure of interlocking and curling grain provides a demanding challenge for the most highly skilled craftsman. When a smooth unblemished surface is finally achieved, the finely textured timber reveals a rich golden tone and shimmering wave-like patterns that rivals the finest hardwoods. Its color can range from a dark reddish brown to light yellowish brown. Items made from longyan are becoming very scarce, and at the same time, newly appreciated by Chinese furniture collectors. Virtually all longyan furniture originates from Fujian province where it has been cultivated for centuries for its fruit. See “Arts of Asia,” Volume 34, Number 5 (September-October 2004) for an excellent article related to longyan furniture, with a photo of a very similar tray.



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