Mid 1800s, elm or cypress, Shanxi. Carved with ancient symbolic motifs; original metal door pulls. About 7′ 5” h, 17″ w.
These pairs of doors were used in a home’s interior space to create privacy, as opposed to ones made by courtyards to protect against wind and rain. The top portion is divided into three sections: two narrow panels on the top and bottom with a wide one in the middle. The focal point is the pierced scrolling dragon with one eye in the middle of a modified beaded openwork rectangle with indented corners. Above this central figure is a modified same shape boundary with a flower-head design in the middle. These designs are amid a crowd of openwork continuous-life or wandering-clouds motifs all of which signify long life and wish for blessing from above. These designs mean these door panels were most likely commissioned for someone of high status in the community. The bottom half of these door panels are solid without carvings. These panels survived in good condition.