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Details & Cataloguing

Important Chinese Art

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A SMALL HUANGHUALI RECESSED-LEG ALTAR TABLE, QIAOTOUAN
QING DYNASTY, 18TH CENTURY
the single board panelled top, terminating in everted flanges above a straight beaded-edge apron and beaded cloud-scroll spandrels, supported on square sectioned legs, with rounded fronts, terminating in slightly splayed feet, joined by square sectioned stretchers enclosing a rectangular openwork dragon panel
77 by 154 by 49 cm, 30 1/4  by 61  by 19 1/4  in. 
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Catalogue Note

Tables of this type, carved with recessed legs and upturned ends, were commonly placed against a wall in the main hall of family compounds where important male visitors were received and family ceremonies took place. This design is derived from altar tables, zu, that were used to hold meat offerings in the Eastern Zhou period. Rectangular tables with upturned ends are depicted on archaic bronze yi vessels from this period, and a low lacquer table of this type was unearthed from a tomb in Zhaoxiang , Hubei province, and illustrated in Sarah Handler, ‘Side Tables. A Surface for Treasures and the Gods’, Chinese Furniture. Selected Articles from Orientations 1984-1999, Hong Kong, 1999, p. 200.

Compare a slightly larger table of this type with similarly carved panels on the sides, sold in these rooms, 30th October 1987, lot 103; another, but decorated on the side panels with lingzhi, sold in our New York rooms, 19th March 2007, lot 302; and a much larger example from the Florence and Herbert Irving collection, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, illustrated in the Museum’s website, accession no. 1996.339. 

Important Chinese Art

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London