AN IMPORTANT AND VERY RARE HUANGHUALI TABLE, BANZHUO MING DYNASTY, 16TH – 17TH CENTURY | 明十六至十七世紀 黃花梨雕龍鳳花鳥紋束腰矮桌展腿式半桌
PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT COLLECTION 重要私人珍藏
Property from an Important Collection
AN IMPORTANT AND VERY RARE HUANGHUALI TABLE, BANZHUO
MING DYNASTY, 16TH – 17TH CENTURY
the top of standard mitre, mortise and tenon frame construction, the edge of the frame moulding downward and inward to an undulating flange simulating the edges of a lotus leaf, all above the shaped, beaded-edged apron exquisitely carved on the longer sides with a pair of phoenix soaring amidst ruyi cloud scrolls and flanking the sun, the shorter sides skilfully decorated with birds perched on floral sprigs, all resting atop four cylindrical legs terminating in baluster feet and joint to the apron and underside of the tabletop with spandrels carved in the form of sinuous dragons and ruyi-shaped braces
104.5 by 64.4 by h. 86.7 cm, 41 ⅛ by 25 ⅜ by h. 34 ⅛ in.
The table is in good overall condition except for very minor old restorations and occasional replacements to some of the spandrels and braces.
"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."
C.L. Ma Antiques, Hong Kong.
The Gangolf Geis Collection.
Christie's New York, 18th September 2003, lot 23.
Gangolf Geis 收藏
This exquisite table is special for its finely carved aprons and spandrels, which include a lively depiction of phoenix among clouds flanking the sun. It belongs to a highly unusual group of profusely decorated side tables, whose upper part resembles a kang table – low tables used on the heated kang. The well-known Chinese furniture scholar Wang Shixiang thus refers to them as ai zhuo zhan tui shi or 'low table with extended legs'. The abundance of carved decoration on these tables represents a clear departure from the clean and sober aesthetics more commonly associated with 17th century furniture, and demonstrates the co-existence of different furniture styles in this period.
Tables of this design are very rare and only two closely related examples appear to have been published; a table from the collection of Wang Shixiang, now in the Shanghai Museum, is illustrated in Wang Shixiang, Classic Chinese Furniture. Ming and Early Qing Dynasty, Hong Kong, 1985, pl. 84; and one included in the exhibition Beyond the Screen. Chinese Furniture of the 16th and 17th Centuries, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1996, cat. no. 22.
A related design is found on square tables, including one with scroll-shaped spandrels and dragons on the apron, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Hu Desheng, A Treasury of Ming & Qing Dynasty Palace Furniture, Beijing, 2007, vol. I, pl. 166; and a table with removable legs, from the collection of Dr S.Y. Yip, sold in these rooms, 7th October 2015, lot 118.
The graceful curves of this piece, created by its undulated waist and the shaped aprons, and its decoration are imbued with a feminine quality. The long sides of the table are carved with a motif of two phoenix facing the sun (shuangfeng chaoyang), an omen for the arrival of enlightened men, while the short sides with a pair of birds perched on flowering branches. Wang Shixiang, op.cit., p. 281, suggests that the former share similarities with designs found on contemporary brocade, while the latter with polychrome porcelains of the Wanli reign (r. 1573-1620).
相類雕飾亦用於方桌，如一例，帶卷形牙頭，牙條雕龍，藏北京故宮博物院，錄於胡德生，《A Treasury of Ming and Qing Dynasty Palace Furniture》，北京，2007年，卷1，圖版166；另一例，腿足可拆卸，攻玉山房舊藏，售於香港蘇富比2015年10月7日，編號118。