A HUANGHUALI COUCH-BED, LUOHAN CHUANG LATE MING DYNASTY
- huanghuali (Dalbergia odorifera)
The Dr. S. Y. Yip Collection of Classic Chinese Furniture, The Macao Museum of Art, Macau, 2003.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
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.