127
127

PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT COLLECTION

A HUANGHUALI FIVE-LEGGED CIRCULAR INCENSE STAND, XIANGJI
17TH CENTURY
JUMP TO LOT
127

PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT COLLECTION

A HUANGHUALI FIVE-LEGGED CIRCULAR INCENSE STAND, XIANGJI
17TH CENTURY
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Monochrome

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Hong Kong

A HUANGHUALI FIVE-LEGGED CIRCULAR INCENSE STAND, XIANGJI
17TH CENTURY
the well-constructed circular top with a beaded-edged frame formed by five arched segments, the edge of the frame supported on a constricted waist reticulated with five elongated beaded-edged begonia-shaped motifs, the bulging bracketed apron similarly constructed with a beaded edge continuing down the sides of the cabriole legs centred with shaped flanges, each of the legs terminating in an upward turning foliate motif enclosing a sphere and resting on an oval pad set into a circular base stretcher raised on five small feet
86.5 by 46 by 46 cm, 34 by 18 1/8  by 18 1/8  in.
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Provenance

The Gangolf Geis Collection.
Christie's New York, 18th September 2003, lot 55.

Catalogue Note

Striking for its elegant slender form and sense of movement in its subtly rounded curves, stands of this type with five cabriole legs are generally known as incense stands, which clearly define their first and foremost purpose, although they were at times used for displaying curious rocks, flower vases or candle sticks. The design first became popular in the Yuan period (1279-1368), and was gradually perfected in the Ming dynasty. Wang Shixiang in Connoisseurship of Chinese Furniture, vol. 1Hong Kong, 1990, p. 52, notes that xiangji are mentioned in Lu Ban's classic Lu Ban Jing Jiang Jia Jing [Lu Ban's Classic, A Mirror for Craftsmen] and early examples of the type were beautifully designed and well-constructed with slender incurved legs that frame sensuous arched openings of various shapes.

Such incense stands are depicted in contemporary paintings and woodblock illustrations, such as one in the Ming novel Jin ping mei [The plum in the golden vase, or the golden lotus] (fig. 1), and another in the 14th-century drama Pipa ji [Tale of the pipa] by the scholar Gao Ming (c.1305-1370) (fig. 2).

A stand of this type, but of larger size and a solid circular base, was sold at Christie’s New York, 19th September 1996, lot 48; and another, but with a more exaggerated curve in the cabriole legs, is published in Sarah Handler, Austere Luminosity of Chinese Classical Furniture, Berkeley, 2001, pl. 17.6. See also a circular huanghuali incense stand, attributed to the Ming dynasty but of shorter proportions, from the collection of Wang Shixiang, illustrated in Wang Shixiang, Classic Chinese Furniture, London, 1986, pl. 73, together with a slightly taller three-legged example, pl. 72. A stand with cabriole legs is illustrated in the Wang Zhenpeng’s (c. 1280-1329) handscroll Vimalakirti and the Doctrine of Nonduality, dated to 1308, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, illustrated in Sarah Handler, op.cit., pl. 17.1.

Monochrome

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Hong Kong