Lot 190. A tiger-maple four-poster canopy bed, jiazichuang, 18th century. 90¼ in. (229.9 cm.) high, 80 in. (223.3 cm.) wide, 55½ in. (141 cm.) deep. Estimate GBP 100,000 - GBP 150,000. Price realised GBP 100,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017.
The longyan wood bed is characteristic of Fujian manufacture and is of lofty and generous proportion. The soft mat sleeping platform is enclosed by a rectangular frame and narrow waist above square-section legs joined by a beaded apron pierced with three small, beaded, ruyi-shaped apertures. The square-section legs have in-curving hoof feet, and the four square corner posts are joined on three sides by a railing enclosing joined ring braces, above a lattice-work railing holding rectangular rings carved with notched interior corners. The posts are also joined at the top by a rectangular frame separated into three sections front and back. Two sections to the sides are carved with shou medallions and confronting dragons above spandrels of interlocked dragons.
Provenance: The Gangolf Geis Collection of Fine Chinese Furniture, Christie's New York, 18 September 2003, lot 28.
The Francisco Capelo collection.
Note: It has been suggested that the four-poster bed was more likely to have been made for a man's apartment, with its ideal of 'pleasant refinement and elegant simplicity without stylish adornment,' cited by Wen Zhenhung in his early Ming guide to stylish living, Zhangwuzhi (Treatise on Superfluous Things). The six-poster 'wedding bed', often a dowry item brought into the marriage with the bride, was more likely to be made for the women's quarters. Compare with the more severe nanmu four-poster bed with open panels set along the three rails, sold at Christie's New York on 21 March 2000, lot 41. Two four-poster beds in huanghuali have been sold at Christie's New York on 16 September 1998, lot 81 and 16 September 1999, lot 79. For a further discussion of this piece, see Curtis Evart's introductory essay, 'Splendor of Chinese Classical Furniture: Highlights from the Gangolf Geis Collection', on pp.12-13 of this catalogue. Also see the side view of this bed illustrated on p. 9.