View full screen - View 1 of Lot 148. A 'huanghuali' and mixed-hardwood square games table, Late Qing dynasty / early 20th century.

A 'huanghuali' and mixed-hardwood square games table, Late Qing dynasty / early 20th century

Restricted Species


20,000 - 30,000 USD

Property from a California Family Collection

A 'huanghuali' and mixed-hardwood square games table, Late Qing dynasty / early 20th century

A 'huanghuali' and mixed-hardwood square games table, Late Qing dynasty / early 20th century


20,000 - 30,000 USD

Lot sold:



A 'huanghuali' and mixed-hardwood square games table

Late Qing dynasty / early 20th century

清末 / 二十世紀初 黃花梨拼硬木棋桌

Height 32½ in., 82.6 cm; Width 33⅞ in., 86 cm; Depth 33⅞ in., 86 cm

Shrinkage to the top panel. Two legs have breakages near the joineries with associated consolidation. Another leg with a small patched repair. The fourth leg having a few vertical age cracks with consolidation. Overall with some areas of minor losses, splits, age cracks and general consolidation.



For more information on and additional videos for this lot, please contact

Please note that this lot will require a CITES permit for export outside of the United States.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.



Acquired in the 1960s-80s, and thence by descent.

Tables of this type are very practical as they were used for both dining and playing games. They were frequently depicted in contemporary paintings and woodblock illustrations and often shown used by ladies, as in the painting Fang ting cai hua [Picking flowers by a pavilion] by the painter Yao Wen-han (fl. mid. 18th century), in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, included in the Museum’s exhibition New Visions at the Ch’ing Court. Giuseppe Castiglione and Western-Style Trends, Taipei, 2007, cat. no. 32. The form is also very practical, with the high stretcher well placed to provide strength to the structure while allowing ample room to sit comfortably.

Games tables have a long history in China, with early surviving examples used for the divination game liubo dating to the Eastern Han dynasty (AD 25-220). Tables constructed with weiqi boards originated in the Tang dynasty (618-906), and their popularity significantly grew during the Song dynasty (960-1279). Sarah Handler in Austere Luminosity of Chinese Classical Furniture, Berkeley, 2001, p. 187, notes that according to literary sources the Xuanzong Emperor was very fond of this game and "once, when the Precious Consort saw that he was losing she untied one of her miniature dogs, which promptly jumped onto the board and disarranged the pieces, to the emperor’s delight".

A similar huanghuali square games table, but with S-shaped braces, in the Philadelphia Museum, Philadelphia, is illustrated Robert Hatfield Ellsworth, Chinese Furniture. Hardwood Examples of the Ming and Early Ch’ing Dynasties, New York, 1971, pl. 73, together with one in the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, pl. 74; another was sold in these rooms, 9th/10th October 1987, lot 398; another in our London rooms, 11th November 2015, lot 12; a fourth table was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 3rd December 2008, lot 2531; and a rectangular example, from the collection of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth, was sold at Christie’s New York, 17th March 2015, lot 44.