#9323 Set of Four 16-17th Century Jin-Si-Nan-Mu Screen Inserts with Four Leaves Design

9323(明代金絲楠木帶四葉瓣如意格子花窗片一套四片)This beautiful screen insert is one out of a set of four antique Chinese screen doors or windows we have possibly from the 16-17th century. It is made of precious and rare Golden-Thread-Nan-Mu wood (金絲楠木) with delicate stripes and golden speckles in the wood which creates an iridescent look. This wood supposedly is repellent to insects and releases subtle fragrance with moisture. It was very popular during Ming and Qing dynasties among the imperial members and lucrative social elites.

The composition of the latticework evolves with the numbers in two and three for the connecting wooden dowels, intertwined with a floral shape that is composed of a combination of a Ruyi motif and a pomegranate fruit, both are auspicious in Chinese culture. The vegetation design with the slender four leaves might be a type of clematis which was thought might have come from the middle Asia through the passage of Buddhism to China*. This four-leaves (四葉瓣) design is interestingly constructed with a hand-carved twisted and hollowed S shape and joined with two other separate petals on the top and the bottom with wooden pegs like the rest of the latticework. This interesting four-leaves design has appeared in some other earlier Chinese wood work and latticework while the Gin-Si-Nan-Mu wood was also found to have been used in some of the earlier Chinese furniture pieces and woodwork dated to 17th and 18th century. This set of lattice inserts have been refinished in layers of clear lacquer coating.

Looking at these screens and the amount of light and air pouring through the open work, it is fascinating to think how human has created this art form with these small wooden dowels connecting one and another, building a world that is both aesthetically artistic and a world that brings the human and the nature closer together.

Dimensions for each insert are approximately 54” L x 13” W x 1” D.

*Reference link: http://www.lunwenstudy.com/gymeishu/32590.html
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