265
265
A PAIR OF 'QIANGJIN' AND 'TIANQI' LACQUER INCENSE STANDS, XIANGJI QING DYNASTY, KANGXI PERIOD
Estimate
100,000150,000
LOT SOLD. 125,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
265
A PAIR OF 'QIANGJIN' AND 'TIANQI' LACQUER INCENSE STANDS, XIANGJI QING DYNASTY, KANGXI PERIOD
Estimate
100,000150,000
LOT SOLD. 125,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Chinese Art

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New York

A PAIR OF 'QIANGJIN' AND 'TIANQI' LACQUER INCENSE STANDS, XIANGJI QING DYNASTY, KANGXI PERIOD
each with a circular top painted in gilt-outlined polychrome on an umber ground with a lively depiction of a heron and its mate foraging amid lushly blooming lotus plants emerging from pierced rockwork and a pair of smaller birds swooping overhead, the rounded beaded edge continuing to a recessed waist pierced with a band of ruyi-heads against a delicate polychrome lotus scroll, divided by narrow vertical flanges with further lotus motif, over a wide, slightly flaring and cusped apron with lavish lotus flowers borne on leafy stems, all raised on five slender foliated cabriole legs with further lotus decoration and joined to a conforming, waisted and pierced pedestal base with a shaped apron supported on five flared tab feet  (2)
Height 36 1/2 in., 92.7 cm
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Provenance

Grassy, Madrid, 18th May 1974. 
Spanish Private Collection. 

Catalogue Note

This pair of stands is impressive for its elegant, sweeping form which has been meticulously decorated with an intricate floral design. Stands of this type were used both in religious and secular contexts to hold incense burners and flower vases. An earlier stand of this type is portrayed in situ on a woodblock print from chapter 18 of the famous novel Jin Pin Mei (The Plum in the Golden Vase), reproduced in Craig Clunas, 'The Novel Jin Ping Mei as a Source for the Study of Ming Furniture', Orientations, January 1992, p. 62, pl. 5.

While tianqi ('filled-in lacquer') was known from at least the 3rd century, it grew in popularity during the Jiajing (r. 1522-66) and Wanli (r. 1573-1620) reigns. This technique, which involves filling different colors of lacquer into incised outlines, allowed craftsmen to achieve attractive shading effects in vibrant colours within clearly defined forms, particularly evident on the painterly scenes of bird and flower on the top panels.  Highly laborious and time-consuming, this technique was mostly reserved for smaller-sized objects and rarely on larger furnishings such as the present pair.

Compare an incense stand of closely related form and design, but with the apron decorated in panels enclosing flowers, attributed to the Kangxi period, sold at Christie’s Paris, 20th June 2017, lot 106; a smaller example decorated with dragons and further embellished in the qiangjin technique, and the waist detailed with quatrefoil floral scrolls, sold in our London rooms, 9th November 2011, lot 38, and again in our Hong Kong rooms, 8th October 2014, lot 3795; and a pair of stands with an eight-lobed top and a flared conforming bracket-lobed apron, sold in these rooms, 17th-18th March 2015, lot 228.

Important Chinese Art

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New York