A rare pair of red-ground 'qiangjin' and 'tianqi' lacquer 'kang' tables Qing dynasty, 18th century | 清十八世紀 創金填漆鳯凰花卉紋几一對
A rare pair of red-ground 'qiangjin' and 'tianqi' lacquer 'kang' tables, kang
Qing dynasty, 18th century
each with a mitered rectangular top supported on ruyi-shaped recessed legs joint at the base by a transverse stretcher, applied overall with a rich crimson-red lacquer finely incised, painted and gilt on the top with flowers and birds, and further flowers on the side and legs
40 x 125 x 50 cm, 15 3/4 by 49 1/4 by 19 3/4 in.
Rare paire de tables en laque 'qiangjin' et 'tianqi' à décor d'oiseaux et fleurs, dynastie Qing, XVIIIe siècle
The two tables are generally in good condition and have been extremely well maintained along the years. There are traces of gilding in the incisions on the side and the natural age crackling on the top have been well stabilized. Overall the two tables are in very good presentation 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. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
The techniques of qiangjin ('etched gold'), where the lines of a design are incised and filled with gold, and tianqi ('filled-in'), where coloured lacquer was applied to enhance details and contrast against the ground, create a sense of opulence and enchantment to the design. These techniques were particularly popular during the Ming dynasty and continued into the Qing, with many pieces bearing Qianlong marks.
Related red-ground lacquer table fashioned in the same technique, also with cusped apron and shaped 'sword' legs extending to supports at the feet, include the renown Wanli marked table in the Palace Museum Beijing, illustrated in Classics of the Forbidden City. Classics of the Forbidden city. Imperial Furniture of Ming & Qing Dynasties, Beijing, 2008, p. 142, fig. 155. Wang Shixiang observes that forms and designs of Chinese furniture did not change significantly over time, often following earlier prototypes, see Wang Shixiang, 'Development of Furniture Design and Construction from the Song and the Ming', Chinese Furniture. Selected Articles from Orientations 1984-1999, Hong Kong, 1999, p. 42.
Compare also a qiangjin and tianqi red-lacquer 'dragon' table sold in these rooms, 3 November 2018, lot 26. For tables of similar decoration using the qiangjin and tianqi techniques, see a larger example with a foliate design sold in our New York rooms, 26th March 1996, lot 281; and a taller table decorated with peonies and scrollwork sold in our London rooms, 19th September 1975, lot 138.