An impressive pair of large huanghuali and camphor wood compound cabinets (Sijiangui), Late Ming dynasty | 晚明 黃花梨拼樟木四件櫃一對
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An impressive pair of large huanghuali and camphor wood compound cabinets (Sijiangui),
Late Ming dynasty
each cabinet of rectangular form, comprising a smaller top cabinet resting on a larger bottom one, the top cabinet of miter, mortise, tenon, tongue-and-grooved flush floating-panel construction with four square uprights, the bottom cabinet similarly constructed with rectangular floating panels set within a narrow frame, the side panels on both the top and bottom cabinets of the same miter, mortise, tenon, tongue-and-grooved, flush, floating-panel construction, below the doors of the main cabinet a wide rectangular panel above plain aprons, the interior of the top cabinet with one removable shelf, the bottom with two shelves and two short drawers, with baitong circular hinges, the similarly surface-mounted central circular plates with three openings for the lock receptacles and shaped door pulls
268.5 by 52.2 by 139.5 cm, 105¾ and 20½ by 54⅞ in.
Both cabinets with some shrinkage to the doors and minor patchings/infills, including to the side panels of one, consistent with age and typical to this type. One cabinet re-purposed as a wardrobe, fitted with a hanging rail and with its shelf and drawers taken apart, professional restoration can be recommended.
"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."
Eastern Pacific Co. (Hei Hung-Lu), Hong Kong, 10th January 1983.
Displayed in inner reception halls or kept in the women’s private quarters, their sheer size would have created an impression of awe. In a passage from the famous 18th-century novel Honglou meng (Dream of the Red Chamber), Granny Liu, an elderly country woman describes seeing for the first time the furniture of the illustrious Jia family: "They say that 'great families live in great houses' and truly when I first went into Your Ladyship's apartment yesterday and saw those great chests and cupboards and tables and beds, they took my breath away. That great wardrobe of yours is higher and wider than one of our rooms back home".
A related pair of huanghuali compound cabinets, slightly taller but narrower than the present pair, its pulls with openwork designs, was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 27th November 2017, lot 8113.