The household shrine was a central piece of furniture in a traditional Chinese home, and an essential part of family life. The present lot is a smaller example and may have been used for travelling. See a larger elm wood household shrine of Shanxi manufacture, with a similar curved roof, illustrated by C. Evarts, C.L. Ma Collection: Traditional Chinese Furniture from the Greater Shanxi Region, Hong Kong, 1999, pp. 272-273, no. 148.