A pair of huanghuali round-cornered tapered cabinets, yuanjiaogui Late Ming – early Qing dynasty | 明末至清初 黃花梨圓角櫃成對
A pair of huanghuali round-cornered tapered cabinets, yuanjiaogui
Late Ming – early Qing dynasty
each with a rounded-edged cabinet top between narrow flat bands, resting on four recessed slightly splayed stiles, the front with a pair of single-panel doors, each within a frame and fitted with a metal plate with a lock receptacle and door pull, and above a stretcher and plain shaped apron, the side aprons similarly left plain, the interior divided into three compartments and a pair of drawers
78 by 46.5 by h. 152.5 cm
The cabinets are in good overall condition and unusually well preserved in their original state.
"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."
The Mimi and Raymond Hung Collection.
Robert Hatfield Ellsworth, Chinese Furniture: One Hundred and Three Examples from the Mimi and Raymond Hung Collection, Hong Kong, 2005, no. 3.
Tall, sloping side two-drawer cabinets such as the present pair belong to the most elegant and recognisable forms of classical Chinese furniture. The extravagant use of large, book-matched huanghuali panels, with their attractive swirls in a subtle variety of tones, is also a powerful statement of wealth and taste.
These elegant cabinets were a popular type of domestic furniture in the Ming and Qing dynasty, and were made of various sizes and with more or less pronounced sloping sides. They were kept in scholar's studios and used to store either clothes or writing instruments. The Ming dynasty vernacular novel Jin Ping Mei [Plum in the Golden Vase] mentions a cabinet in the study of Ximen Qing, the corrupt merchant protagonist of the story, which contained his official robes and accessories.
The present pair of cabinets does not have a central stile, suggesting that the doors were not designed to be secured by locks. See a similar pair of cabinets, also without a central stile, in the collection of Dr S.Y. Yip, illustrated in Grace Wu Bruce, Dreams of Chu Tan Chamber and the Romance with Huanghuali Wood: The Dr. S.Y. Yip Collection of Classic Chinese Furniture, Hong Kong, 1991, cat. no. 47; and a further pair, sold in these rooms, 11th July 2020, lot 118 (https://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/lot.118.html/2020/monochrome-hk0939). For cabinets with a removable central stile, see a pair in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, obj. no. 82-32/1,2 (https://art.nelson-atkins.org/objects/27211/cabinet), illustrated in Gustav Ecke, Chinese Domestic Furniture, Beijing, 1944, pl. 113, no. 92.