A large huanghuali recessed-leg table, qiaotou'an Late Ming dynasty | 明末 黃花梨夾頭榫獨板翹頭案
A large huanghuali recessed-leg table, qiaotou'an
Late Ming dynasty
the top of a single-board panel flanked by shaped everted flanges on the shorter ends, surmounting beaded-edged aprons with openwork foliate spandrels, raised on four recessed rectangular legs decorated with beaded edges, each pair of legs joined on the shorter sides with two rectangular stretchers
221.3 by 48 by h. 81 cm
The table is in good overall condition, with just some expected minor infilled age cracks to the top.
"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."
Deng Nanwei, Magnificent Yellow: Huang Hua Li Furniture of Ming and Qing Dynasties, vol. 2, Beijing, 2016, pl. 053.
Precisely notable for their eponymous upturned ends, tables of this type, qiaotou'an, were produced in varying forms. Such tables are depicted in the woodblock illustrated books and paintings from the Ming and Qing dynasties, in which their versatility is demonstrated. The larger examples, exuding solemnity and austerity, were often placed with ritual implements and functioned as altar tables before figures of Buddhist deities whilst those of relatively smaller form such as the current one were likely used in scholars’ studios and reception halls and lent an air of refined elegance.
The striking clean lines of such tables’ silhouettes are indicative of the superior skills of the craftsmen to strike a remarkable balance between aesthetics and functionality. The seemingly simple yet highly laborious construction, complemented with the most valued hardwood, truly testifies to the timeless aesthetic of 17th century craftsmanship.