thin rectangular table; unadorned; feet emphasized; curved leg support reaches from under table top

Lute table, c. 1600

Unknown artist, expand_more
G216expand_more

This extremely rare lute table captures the essence of literati taste. Made in Suzhou around 1600, the work exemplifies the sophisticated designs achieved during the golden age of Chinese furniture making. Its simplicity, fluidity and superb balance, made possible by extremely advanced, concealed joinery, allows for a minimal use of material and elegant proportions. Throughout Chinese history, the lute (qin,) has been the most important symbolic musical instrument. Since Confucian times (6th century BCE), lute playing was regarded as a sign of enlightenment. By the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), the qin had developed into a significant icon for the literati, who saw its mere possession as an indication of intellect and refinement.

Details
Title
Lute table
Role
Artist
Accession Number
96.123.1
Curator Approved

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thin rectangular table; unadorned; feet emphasized; curved leg support reaches from under table top