#ART-089 A 17th Century Table Screen Inserted with Old Yu-Hua-Shi Stone

(明代雨花石小屏風)This is a very beautiful 17th century table screen in the Ming style construction with inserted red stone with pattern. The many small openings on the wood frame has an interesting name. This small opening is called “開窗, Kai Chuang, opening the window”. “ 開窗, Kai Chuang” is a colloquial term used often by the furniture trade in China, referring to the design of a furniture piece with a small horizontal open work in the solid wood panel, particularly in the narrow waist area underneath the table top of a table. It can be seen also on small wooden objects, such as on a small table screen like the one shown in the photo here. Such design mostly has to do with aesthetics from an experienced old Chinese woodworker or someone who is very familiar with the design and the style of old Chinese furniture. This small opening can be shaped in a plain rounded rectangular shape, or like those on this small screen , in the shape of a begonia flower common in Chinese woodwork. The origin for the term “ 開窗”is not known. It might be a term from the ancient time when human first resided in an enclosed cave and eventually created an opening at the top of a cave with the desire to have the light inside.

The type of red or pink stone with varying pattern on this screen is called 雨花石 (Yu-Hua-Shi). “Shi” means stone. It has a beautiful story associated with Chinese Buddhism. This stone mostly came from Nanjing Area in Jiangsu province. This stone is known for its beautiful color and irregular patterns. The collectors appreciate its natural beauty without man-made work.

A small table screen defines a small area on a tabletop that offers a sense of intimacy and is often part of a scholar's table arrangement. It is a highly collectible item.

Contact us     

2404 Mission Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060   

Phone: (831)457-4422   email: customerservice@shensgallery.com