A huanghuali waistless bench, 17th century | 十七世紀 黃花梨四面平馬蹄足長方凳
A huanghuali waistless bench,
of simple yet elegant proportions, the soft mat seat enclosed within a simianping or 'four corner's flush' structure, supported by three transverse stretchers underneath, the thick angular waistless frame raised on four square-sectioned corner legs gently tapering to high hoof feet, the wood of an attractive chestnut brown tone
165.6 by 42 by h. 49.8 cm
The bench is in overall good condition for a piece of its age and type. There are two natural flaws in the timber to the inner edge of the apron, and another flaw to the edge of the long side of the rectangular frame, all visible only from the underside of the bench; A small circular area of patch near the old matting; Typical minor age cracks and surface wear consistent with age and use.
"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."
Christie's New York, 16th September 1999, lot 42.
Nicholas Grindley, London, 20th September 1999.
The restrained elegance of the present bench is achieved through its simianping or 'four corner’s flush' construction where the legs are set flush to its top. It is considered one of the most attractive and classic features of Ming furniture.
The present bench, however, appears to be highly unusual. An example of this design but of larger proportions was sold at Christie's New York, 21st March 2000, lot 16. Compare also a huanghuali daybed with its lower section similarly constructed with a 'four corner's flush' structure, included in Grace Wu Bruce, Chinese Classical Furniture, Hong Kong, 1995, pl. 22.