Share your favorites on Show & Tell

antique vietnamese family altar

In Asian > Show & Tell and Furniture > Cabinets > Show & Tell.
Asian Antiques7296 of 9895My first Awaji potteryJapanese Yukuta/Kimono silk?
Love it
Like it

PhilDMorrisPhilDMorris loves this.
ho2cultchaho2cultcha loves this.
vintagelampvintagelamp loves this.
MrstyndallMrstyndall loves this.
Lamplover78Lamplover78 loves this.
MasterMaster loves this.
swampdoggswampdogg loves this.
JImamJImam loves this.
auraaura loves this.
fhrjr2fhrjr2 loves this.
CelieneCeliene loves this.
ozmartyozmarty loves this.
CaperkidCaperkid loves this.
JewelsJewels loves this.
kivatinitzkivatinitz loves this.
mikelv85mikelv85 loves this.
inkyinky loves this.
Peasejean55Peasejean55 loves this.
trunkmantrunkman loves this.
BHock45BHock45 loves this.
shareurpassionshareurpassion loves this.
ManikinManikin loves this.
RadegunderRadegunder loves this.
fortapachefortapache loves this.
MoonhillMoonhill loves this.
freiheitfreiheit loves this.
TreyTrey loves this.
SEAN68SEAN68 loves this.
Toni1969Toni1969 loves this.
VintagefranVintagefran loves this.
vetraio50vetraio50 loves this.
toolate2toolate2 loves this.
toracattoracat loves this.
Dan121156Dan121156 loves this.
officialfuelofficialfuel loves this.
racer4fourracer4four loves this.
vanskyock24vanskyock24 loves this.
tom61375tom61375 loves this.
AmberRoseAmberRose loves this.
DrFluffyDrFluffy loves this.
See 40 more
Add to collection

    Please create an account, or Log in here

    If you don't have an account, create one here.

    Create a Show & TellReport as inappropriate

    Posted 8 years ago

    (441 items)

    This is a family heirloom from my grand parents who lived in Indochina from 1910 to 1956.
    this cabinet-altar is very finely engraved and open carved both faces, 1.3 meters high, 1.5 meters wide. Medallions are bone, not ivory with dragons, characters and trigrams I can't read.
    Top has a nearly iridescent feel with nice veining.
    There was a pair, but the other was destroyed during the moving trip to settle in France :-(
    Any help to decipher writing welcome!!!

    Mystery Solved
    Asian Antiques
    See all
    Antique Fengshui Bronze Guardian Fu Foo Dogs Lion Door Leo Statue Lions Pair
    Antique Fengshui Bronze Guardian Fu...
    Antique Chinese Carmine Glaze Porcelain Qing Dynasty Yongzheng Mark Small Bowl
    Antique Chinese Carmine Glaze Porce...
    Chinese Conjoined Porcelain Late Qing Dynasty Famille Rose Vase 5.7
    Chinese Conjoined Porcelain Late Qi...
    Antique Chinese carved jadeite Guanyin on stand, 19th century, Qing Dynasty.
    Antique Chinese carved jadeite Guan...
    Antique Fengshui Bronze Guardian Fu Foo Dogs Lion Door Leo Statue Lions Pair
    Antique Fengshui Bronze Guardian Fu...
    See all


    1. shrine shrine, 8 years ago
      kyratango -- what a coincidence, my friend just showed me this yesterday. His shelf is just a modern reproduction of yours, in other words, yours could be the original design. Very interesting story to tell my friend.

      However, I don't think your piece is an TRUE antique but a tributary antique. The mark you mentioned is a reign mark boasting being made around 1800. It's not possible to me according to the wear and patina on the furniture. My preliminary estimation sits in early 20c which matches your story.

      The quality of image is not enough identify the specific timber used, but roughly speaking, I think it's a vietnamese variation of chinese Qing furniture design made from local rosewood. It's a safe guess to me as most Chinese furniture maker sources their rosewood from Vietnam in 20c, till now.

    2. DrFluffy DrFluffy, 8 years ago
      It's stunning Kyra... And I love the story... How cool that you family lived in Asia during that period.
    3. kyratango kyratango, 8 years ago
      Thanks shrine and Drfluffy for your comments!
      I'll post old pics from 1930 of my grand parents interior.
      Of course, all of their deco was recent at the time!
    4. Manikin Manikin, 8 years ago
      Very beautiful !
    5. kyratango kyratango, 8 years ago
      Thanks Manikin!
    6. toracat toracat, 8 years ago
    7. kyratango kyratango, 8 years ago
      Thanks Don!
    8. Trey Trey, 8 years ago
      The detail in this is amazing.
    9. kyratango kyratango, 8 years ago
      Thanks Trey :-)
    10. shareurpassion shareurpassion, 8 years ago
      Stunning work of art!
    11. BHock45 BHock45, 8 years ago
    12. kyratango kyratango, 8 years ago
      Thank you shareurpassion and BHock45 for your kind comments :-)
    13. kyratango kyratango, 8 years ago
      Thanks Idcloisonne, I knew the yin/yang symbol, but not the signification of the trigramme around it (used in feng-shui, for auspicious too)
      There are several on the altar and none match what I found.
    14. kyratango kyratango, 8 years ago
      Thank you Kivatinitz :-)
    15. kyratango kyratango, 7 years ago
      Late thanks to the 31 lovers!
    16. kyratango kyratango, 7 years ago
      Thank you Roycroft and Ozmarty!
    17. lee120275 lee120275, 6 years ago
      What can you say about this it is sexy, magnificent I could see it in a top auction house and for a lot of money.
    18. Celiene Celiene, 6 years ago
      DOes it open or have drawers - or just sit there looking beautiful?
    19. kyratango kyratango, 6 years ago
      Ooh! Thank you Lee120275 for your warm comment! Sentimental and family memories have very high value for me :-)

      Celiene, yes, it has 2 narrow doors to the front and 2 drawers.
      Thank you for your interest!
    20. kyratango kyratango, 5 years ago
      New better pics, and view of the wood graining, huang hua li???

      Many thanks for your loves, Thomas and Bratjdd :-))
    21. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 5 years ago
      As a thought I wonder if you have a Vietnamese cafe or market in your town where you could show the photo's and ask? The gentleman that mows my lawn is Vietnamese as are other locals and the all are very willing to share what they know about their country.
    22. kyratango kyratango, 5 years ago
      Fhrjr2, thanks for your interest and suggestion!
      I showed my pics to vietnamese around me, but all they could say was it is an old altar...
      No help for the wood or writing, they are too young :-)
    23. JImam JImam, 5 years ago
      This is just beautiful!
    24. kyratango kyratango, 5 years ago
      Ooh, thank you JImam for your kind comment and love! :-)

      Thank you Aura, Swampdogg, Master and Lamplover for taking the time to visit and love!
    25. Zilla Zilla, 5 years ago
      I had fun using this as some Chinese translation homework.... I found out the meaning I think. It says, reading from the top down and right to left:
      Jiaqing chao bao

      Chao =dynasty
      Bao = precious treasure
      When put together chaobao could mean the money the king used

      So i think it means Qing dynasty treasure

      Maybe a fluent Chinese speaker can come along and correct me if I'm wrong :-)

      What beautiful piece of furniture and so precious for your family history also!
    26. kyratango kyratango, 5 years ago
      Aaahh! Thank you Zilla for your great help!

      That makes sense, I know my grand parents decorated their home with lots of chinese pieces, but nothing older than 19th century (except a Khmer head from Angkor!).
    27. katherinescollections katherinescollections, 5 years ago
      There are Chinese readers on the Chinese FB page, if you would like to try and post there, Pascale. :)
    28. kyratango kyratango, 5 years ago
      Thank you Katherine :-)
      I'm not a Facebook person... I'll rather keep my pics under hand for asking in Paris Chinatown when I'll go!
    29. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 5 years ago
      This piece is amazing. I think they especially go well in a large or long foyer !~
    30. kyratango kyratango, 5 years ago
      Thank you Phil, you can see here pics of their original display in 1930:
      There was a pair in my grand parents home, they were in the middle of vast rooms, all decorated faces visible!

    Want to post a comment?

    Create an account or login in order to post a comment.