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Very large black rosewood carving
I need help identifying this piece. Apologies for the indoor pictures, but this was the best I was able to obtain. It is approximately 14 feet tall and carved from black rosewood.
I've never seen a piece like this before - does anyone have any idea what it is? (Region, age, intended area where this may have been used for decoration, age, value?)
Welcome to the forum. That looks an impressive piece. We have a few members who are knowledgeable on wood and carvings; hopefully they will be able to help.
@julia Thank you for the warm welcome. Yes, some insight from knowledgeable folks on wood and carvings would be greatly appreciated.
They will be along, sooner or later. We are all in different time zones. 😊
In the meantime, may I ask if this is yours, were you given any information about it? Or if you are thinking of buying it, has the seller given any clues?
Hello and welcome Spencer,
Ditto Julia's questions. Quite a spectacular item at 14 foot high. Understand your difficulties in photographing it . Unable to discern the timber from the pictures. It most likely is a canopy from a temple or shrine. The pictures make to hard to say if Buddhist or Taoist. If you could get a clear picture of the round disk center top so we can read the symbols that may answer some questions. Assume those two carvings at the center that appear to be lighter in color are part of the whole. They look like elephants to me carved in a more S.E Asian style rather than Chinese but that just based on the poor images and I may well be on the wrong track. The overall ornate appearance suggests Qing dynasty to me rather than earlier but have to say that could change were it possible to obtain detailed images.
Think it would be worth you time to follow up with the vendor and obtain as much information as you can, if the vendor would allow it take a small step ladder and try to photo some aspects in detail. This could be a rare item most very large temple carvings get broken down into separate smaller more manageable items.
Welcome to this great forum!
A most interesting shrine (I think, not 100% sure) you have posted. It's huge and heavily carved with various scenes etc etc.
Unfortunately the images are not clear enough. It looks like chinese straits carving rather a Malaysian counterpart as it has the depictions of imperial dragons. It could date to the late 19th century, possibly early 20th century.
I agree with Michael more clearer pictures along with more information is needed. Also a picture of the back. What is the seller saying about it, if anything at all?
Perhaps @greeno107 can offer further information and or suggestions. He along with Michael have a very good eye and knowledge.
I thing it’s a wedding bed. For a prominent family or official.
Ah could be! That's interesting to see for me, Brian, so thank you. I was watching an auction a little while back that had several old sets of carvings, allegedly from a type of Chinese bed, but when I put the name (it was in french and I don't remember it) into a search engine, only Breton beds came up. It is good to what the pieces came from.
Hi Spencer - and as with others here, welcome to this great forum ...
I know very little about woods - but a very impressive item ..!!
[email protected]@lotusblack have given some creditable possibilities regarding it’s original function, but agree with Mark@imperialfinegems and Michael - much better images and more information from the vendor is needed ...
Thank you @julia, @brettm, @imperialfinegems, @lotusblack, @ming1449 for your greatly valued input. My father acquired it some years ago. If memory serves him right, he was told that it likely decorated the entrance to an interior courtyard, but it is unconfirmed.
Will try to obtain some clearer pictures and measurements and post them later today.
@brusselsprouts What a great looking piece!
So, in determining what it was for, it might help to see photos of the back side...perhaps there are openings in the wood that show were supports fit in.
I think a reasonable guess is that this rather elaborate archway was to a garden, temple, or even a high end business.
These large elaborate carvings were generally done using Nanmu wood, an evergreen tree, very hard and resistant to decay, so it could be used outdoors in architectural pieces, as well as furniture.
There is no such thing as 'black rosewood', but perhaps the seller means hongmu.
Rosewood and hongmu was not normally carved in this manner, so if it is rosewood or hongmu, it would be very valuable .... perhaps in the tens of thousands of dollars (USD).
Some clear and closer photos that show the grain of the wood should reveal the type of wood.
Wonderful piece! Thank you for sharing!
@greeno107 thank you for your analysis! I wasn't able to get more pictures today, but I promise higher quality photos sometime this week.
Perhaps he meant hei suanzhi wood. In any case, I'll try to get some close up photos that show the grain.
@brusselsprouts My understanding is that suanzhi is another name for hongmu. I'm not aware of large pieces carved in this manner made from suanzhi/hongmu, so if it is....well, WOW!
@julia, @brettm, @imperialfinegems, @lotusblack, @ming1449, @green107 I snapped a plethora of additional pictures (attached around 60) showing the detail of the piece in increased resolution and quality.
Please find the photos here: https://imgur.com/a/oq5r4cO
(Decided to list the pictures on imgur to avoid the compression and image size restrictions here Also included pictures of the wood grain.
In the lower register, there are intricate carvings of patrons and signs. The side pieces fit together via mortise and tenon joinery (visible in a few pictures). The top circular piece is a different shade (perhaps a newer addition), perhaps indicating it was replaced? Interesting to see that it's set within what appears to be a sunflower form. Today was the first time I really took the time to pore over the details and notice just how many characters there are in this scene.
That’s got to be worth some bucks.
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