Stands were crafted for serving specific purposes, often associated with important social needs in the household.
The most common types are tea, plant and washbasin stands.
Tea stands were one of the more formal pieces of furniture as they were generally used in the reception hall of the home. These stands were placed beside the chairs and used for serving tea and complementary treats. Tea stands often have storage compartments, such as drawers and shelves. As the chairs were mostly arranged in pairs, so too are the tea stands.
Plant stands were decorative pieces keeping in with the style of artistic interior settings. They were often seen in scholar’s homes, placed in areas of significance in the house to display bonsai plants, floral arrangements and other items of beauty.
Plant stands are generally taller and slimmer with a focus on proportion and aesthetic appeal.
Washbasin stands developed with the advent of the chair mode of living in about the 10th century. Early stands had the basin sitting snugly within a simple frame. It later evolved to include a towel rack and soap container. The towel rack was often elaborately carved with auspicious symbols, which helped hold the towel and looked more appealing. The stand was also often placed around the home to display a bowl of fresh flowers.
These pieces and more can be seen in our Fyshwick antiques gallery.
Plum red lacquered tea stands
Early 20th century spruce 390mm wide x 390mm deep x 850mm high This pair of deep red lacquered stands is unusual in that the space between the shelf and the...
Washbasin stand with long life motifs
Late 19th century elm wood 480mm wide x 400mm deep x 1700mm high Washbasin stands were often considered a status symbol connected with ancient bathing rituals. They evolved over the...
Tea stands with drawer
Origin: Shandong province 19th century elm wood 325mm wide x 325mm deep x 855mm high These stands are relatively small in size and would have been designed to match with...
Rectangular plant stand with stepped legs
Origin: Shanxi province 19th century walnut 470mm wide x 360mm deep x 860mm high Exquisitely crafted stands like this are now very rare. The top is connected to the body...
Rectangular plant stands with humpback stretchers
Origin: Shanxi province 19th century walnut 445mm wide x 295mm deep x 850mm high This pair of walnut plant stands has flush design with Ming style unadorned simplicity. The legs...