A huanghuali recessed-leg table, pingtouan, Ming dynasty, late 16th-early 17th century 

Lot 4076. A huanghuali recessed-leg table, pingtouan, Ming dynasty, late 16th-early 17th century, 32 in. (81.3 cm.) high, 68 in. (71.1 cm.) wide, 20 5/8 in. (52.5 cm.) deep. Estimate HKD 2,000,000 - HKD 3,000,000Price realised HKD 3,620,000© Christie's Images Ltd 2012

The single-panel top is set within the wide rectangular frame with a beaded edge above plain aprons and spandrels. The frame is supported on thick legs of rounded section joined by pairs of stretchers.

Provenance: Sold at Christie's New York, 16 September 1998, lot 76

Note: With its origins in architectural forms, the spare, economical lines of this design make it one of the classic forms of Chinese furniture. The basic proportions were adapted to make large painting tables, tables, benches and stools. This form is referred to in the Classic of Lu Ban as a 'character one' table due to its similarity in profile to the single horizontal stroke of the Chinese character for one. Several examples of this elegant form have been published. See Splendor of Style Classical Furniture from the Ming and Qing Dynasties, National Museum of History, Taipei, 1999, p. 143, for a large huanghuali recessed-leg painting table of similar form, dated to the 16th or 17th century. See, also, G. Ecke, Chinese Domestic Furniture, Rutland Tokyo, 1962, pl. 46, no. 36, for another example in huanghuali. Compare, also, several similar huanghuali recessed-leg tables sold at Christie's New York 21 September 2004, lot 34; 19 September 2007, lot 131; and 17 September 2008, lot 160. A smaller huanghuali recessed-leg side table is offered in the current as lot 4072. 

Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 30 May 2012, Hong Kong, HKCEC Grand Hall