Coffee table. [Click to embiggen.]
You’re looking at an antique coffee table. Or, more likely, considering its origins, a tea table. For this little beauty comes from somewhere in deepest Asia.
I inherited it from the Momma d’Elisson, who picked it up at an estate sale sometime back in the mid-1960’s.
The intricate carven image always fascinated me...all of that action, all of that motion, seemingly frozen in place. Certainly, it represents an enormous amount of handiwork for one small table, no doubt performed by legions of highly skilled - and extremely underpaid - artisans.
It took an enormous amount of research to figure out just what the carving was supposed to be a picture of, but after many years, I can tell you that it’s...
...an Ancient Chinese Fire Drill.