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To inaugurate their new showroom, they are mounting an exhibition devoted to antique Chinese wooden lattice panels, which runs from March 6-20. These intricately carved openwork panels made from indigenous woods such as yangmu (poplar) and yumu (elm) were used in Chinese homes instead of windows. Their openwork design allows light and air to circulate in the house in hot weather and when backed with semi-transparent paper or cloth offers protection against the elements in colder weather.

The variations in their latticework carved designs reflect climatic differences, with pieces from houses in the warmer wetter South favouring a more openwork feel, while those from the colder North are more complex and intricate. Today these large and finely carved pieces make wonderful focal points in an interior as doors, screens, abstract works of art or bedheads.

Altfield will have a variety of styles and sizes on show, sourced from homes in the provinces of Shanxi, Shandong, Anhui, Zhejiang and Jiangsu and all restored. Prices start at around £400, rising to several thousand pounds for the largest examples.