A huanghuali rounded-corners cabinet, yuanjiao gui Ming dynasty, 17th century | 明 十七世紀 黃花梨圓角櫃
Property from an important French private collection | 法國重要私人收藏
Property from an important French private collection
A huanghuali rounded-corners cabinet, yuanjiao gui
Ming dynasty, 17th century
the rounded projecting four frame members set above the rectangular recessed top panel, joined by four round posts at each corner forming the tapered silhouette, the pair of single panel doors with wooden dowels fitting into sockets in the upper frame and lower front rail, above a plain narrow apron with curved spandrels, with baitong plates, pulls and pin, the interior divided into three shelves and a pair of drawers
110 x 69 x 43 cm, 43¼ by 27⅛ by 17 in.
Armoire basse en huanghuali, yuanjiao gui, dynastie Ming, XVIIE siècle
明 十七世紀 黃花梨圓角櫃
110 x 69 x 43 公分， 43¼x 27⅛x 17 英寸
The plank of huanghuali on top is an old addition to the cabinet, since traditionally this type would normally come without it. However it is a classic alteration, allowing objects and vases to be placed on top. There is an old crack to the rear edge of the top towards the right corner and an old shallow chip towards the edge of the upper left corner. There is a triangular chip to the lower right sprandel of the lower apron, but the apron itself seems original, as well as the apron on the side, which is rare. There is expected wear and old chips to the base and edge of the feet. However overall the cabinet seems to have had very limited alteration and is in good condition. It is of lovely proportions and the wood patina is very nice.
"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."
An old French aristocratic collection.
One of the most ingenious and beautiful designs of classic Chinese furniture is the sloping-stile, wood-hinged cabinet. The four main stiles are recessed from the corners of the top and slope gently outward in a subtle, almost imperceptible splay. This simple design feature gives the cabinet its refined elegance and a sense of balance and stability.
The doors, with extended dowels on both ends, fit into sockets in the cabinet frame members and act as hinges. Free from the necessity of applied hinges, the clean lines of the cabinet are not interfered with. The rectangular metal plates with their lock receptacles and door pulls not only serve a practical function, but are also judiciously placed as decoration for the otherwise completely plain piece.
Cabinets of this type, with the characteristic round-corners, are known as yuanjiaogui and was widely made throughout the Ming and Qing period. For detailed information on the development of Chinese cabinets see Sarah Handler, ‘Cabinets and Shelves Containing All Things in China’, Journal of the Classical Chinese Furniture Society, Winter, 1993, pp 4-29, where the author illustrates a large yuanjiaogui from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, and notes that cabinets of this type became more common on domestic furniture from the 15th century (see p. 13). Another similar cabinet is in the collections of the musée national des arts asiatiques, Guimet, illustrated in Cécile et Michel Beurdeley, Le Mobilier Chinois. Le Guide du Connaisseur, Fribourg, 1979, no. 128 p. 93, where it is described as a 'bookcase with three shelves and two drawers', shu gui.
Compare also a contrasting wood round-corner cabinet of related proportions, sold in our New York rooms, 20th March 2019, lot 706, and another sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 3rd October 2017, lot 3645.
此類圓角櫃，廣製於明清兩朝。關於此類櫃式的源流演變，可參閱 Sarah Handler〈Cabinets and Shelves Containing All Things in China〉，《Journal of the Classical Chinese Furniture Society》，1993年冬，頁4-29，作者在文中列舉一藏於堪薩斯市 Nelson-Atkins 藝術博物館的大型圓角櫃，並註明此類櫃式在十五世紀家具中逐漸流行（見頁13）。 另一例現藏巴黎吉美博物館，被稱作三層雙抽屜書櫃，圖載於Cécile et Michel Beurdeley，《Le Mobilier Chinois. Le Guide du Connaisseur》，弗賴堡，1979年，編號128 ，頁93。