Hardwood rectangular tray
China, 19th century
A hardwood tray of rectangular format, supported on four bracket feet and inset with a base panel. The panel is carved in low relief with a mountainous river scene, in which two men can be observed fishing with nets from boats. In the foreground, two figures are crossing a tall bridge, while further figures can be glimpsed seated in the windows of rustic thatched huts. A man is rowing a boat in the right hand corner. The landscape features rugged mountains, pavilions and pagodas, along with trees. The top of the galleried rim of the tray is inlaid with a pattern of linked key frets in silver wire. The wood has acquired an attractive chocolate patina.
The wood of this beautiful tray displays the typical interrupted lines and colour of zitan on the base. The depiction of a village in mountainous river surrounding was popular on all sorts of materials, particularly in the 18th and 19th centuries.