Chenxiangmu was one of the most valued types of wood in China due to its aromatic and medicinal qualities. The properties of the wood have been discussed in several publications, including Robert Ellsworth in Chinese Furniture. Hardwood Examples of the Ming and Early Ch’ing Dynasties, New York, 1970, p. 46, who describes it as lignaloes, a succulent wood from a species sometimes considered a tree, sometimes a shrub; and Sheila Riddell in Dated Chinese Antiquities 600-1650, London, 1979, p. 228, who calls it gharu wood (aquilaria agallocha), a highly-esteemed type with the best quality sourced from Cambodia, according to Chau Ju-Kua, the renowned 12th century traveller. Furthermore, Gerard Tsang and Hugh Moss in the catalogue to the exhibition Arts from the Scholar’s Studio, Fung Ping Shan Museum, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 1986, p. 216, comment that chenxiangmu was frequently used for burning incense.
Libation cups carved from chenxiangmu are generally after rhinoceros horn cups in appearance. These cups are usually made from small pieces of wood joined together by lacquered seams. See a set of four sold in our London rooms, 15th May 2013, lot 203 and another from the Robert H. Blumenfield collection, sold at Christie’s New York, 22nd March 2012, lot 1298.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale