Couch beds with original back and arms made of huanghuali wood datable to the classical period are extremely rare. The rarity of this type stems from the fact that the arms and back are easily removable and prone to become dislocated from their base.
This classic completely plain couch bed is a superb example of excellent modelling and elegant proportions. The strong linear lines of the seat, legs and low shaped hoof feet, combined with the very gently arched back and arms, convey the essence of guzhuo, loosely translated as 'ancient and primitive' simplicity, evoking a sense of timelessness, harmony and calm.
See Laurence Sickman, 'Simplicity and Subtlety: The Decorative Arts in China', Apollo, March 1973, London, p. 270 for an example of a plain huanghuali couch-bed in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City and Nancy Berliner, Beyond the Screen: Chinese Furniture of the 16th and 17th Centuries, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1996 for another related example.
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