Lot 1206. A huanghuali square-corner traveling bookcase, tushuxinggui, 17th-18th century. Estimate; USD120,000 ~ 180,000. Price Realised USD 365,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2016.
The top and sides of the bookcase are constructed from attractively-grained single panels of huanghuali. The single panels on the doors are set into rectangular frames, and open to reveal the interior, which is fitted with drawers. The whole is set into a huanghuali platform base, with baitong mounts and handles on the sides. 32 in. (81.3 cm.) high, 25 in. (63.5 cm.) wide, 14 in. (35.6 cm.) deep
Provenance: Grace Wu Bruce, Hong Kong.
Property from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Auerbach
Notes: Cabinets of this type were likely to have been filled with books, scrolls, or paintings. To facilitate transport and to protect the traveling case from moisture or insects, the cabinet was raised on a fitted base and fitted with an upright frame and would have been carried at either end of a long carrying pole. Consequently, the stress placed on the frame required a particularly strong construction, reinforced with inlaid hardware. For a discussion of metal fittings on bookcases, see an article by Curtis Evarts, "Uniting Elegance and Utility: Metal Mounts on Chinese Furniture", JCCFS, Summer 1994, pp. 27-47.
A smaller huanghuali medicine cabinet (58 cm.), in the collection of Dr. R. J. C. Hoeppli, is illustrated by G. Ecke, Domestic Chinese Furniture, Rutland and Tokyo, 1962, p. 135, fig. 107, where Ecke illustrates the chest with the doors open revealing numerous drawers. See, also, a similar huamu traveling bookcase of larger proportion and inset with nanmu-burl doors sold at Christie’s New York, 17 September 2015, lot 911.
Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 16 September 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza