Lot 3504
  • 3504


180,000 - 280,000 HKD
562,500 HKD
bidding is closed


  • Zitan (Pterocarpus santalinus)
all supported on a larger rectangular base frame, modelled with an openwork spandrelled upright rising from each short side to meet the humpback-shaped handle framing the two-tiered box and cover, the interior of the top tier with a shallow tray resting on its rim, the cover centred with an opening on each short side aligned with openings on the uprights for the metal rod securing the carry box in the base frame, the corners and edges with metal mounts and ruyi-shaped corner pieces


Grace Wu Bruce, Zitan Furniture from the Ming and Qing dynasties, Hong Kong Exhibition, Hong Kong, 1999, pp. 46-47.
Grace Wu Bruce, Feast by a wine table reclining on a couch: The Dr S. Y. Yip Collection of Classic Chinese Furniture III, Art Museum, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2007, pp. 188-189.

Catalogue Note

The design of these tiered carry boxes originated from food boxes made mostly of bamboo and lightweight woods for easy carriage. Attendants carrying them on outings are depicted in numerous Ming paintings and other illustrations.

This fine example, made in heavy and dense zitan wood with huanghuali wood insides, is likely to have derived from common food boxes. These pieces made with precious hard woods are heavy and not suitable for carriage and were used probably to contain valuables.

See a similar example, illustrated in Wang Shixiang and Curtis Evarts, Masterpieces from the Museum of Classical Chinese Furniture, Chicago and San Francisco, 1995, p. 145. For a further example, see Robert D. Jacobsen and Nicholas Grindley, Classical Chinese Furniture in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, 1999, p. 199.