Lot 1352. A pair of huanghuali and huamu official's hat armchairs, sichutouguanmaoyi, 18th century; 43 in. (109.2 cm.) high, 22 3/8 in. (56.8 cm.) wide, 18 5/8in. (47.3 cm.) deep. Estimate $80,000 - $120,000. Price Realized $362,500. © Christie's Images Ltd 2011.
Each with shaped crest rail with upswept ends supported on continuous posts which form the rear legs, the S-shaped, slightly splayed splats divided into three sections, the uppermost with an openwork panel of bats and ruyi, centered by an elegantly curved panel of well-figured huamu, above a beaded, shaped apron carved with openwork foliage details, the elongated, S-shaped arms supported by curved stiles and posts with shaped spandrels, the hard mat seat above the front legs joined by plain aprons and spandrels, stepped stretchers and the footrest.
Provenance: William and Robert Drummond, Beijing.
Nina Bushnell, Beijing, 1936.
Note: The present chairs are superb examples of the highly successful combination of huanghuali and huamu. This combination, popular in classical Chinese furniture construction, forms a pleasing aesthetic, with the lighter huanghuali providing an attractive contrast to the darker, swirled grain of the burl. Numerous examples in various forms where the combination of huanghuali and burl is used are documented. See C. Evarts, 'From Ornate to Unadorned: A Study of a Group of Yokeback Chairs', Journal of the Classical Chinese Furniture Society, Spring, 1993, pp. 27-9 and 32, for a group of armchairs with burl-inset splats. Also see two 16th/17th century huanghuali tables with nanmu top panels sold in these rooms, 19 March 2008, lot 372, and 18 September 2003, lot 34. For an interesting discussion on burlwood and its use in Chinese furniture, see C. Evarts, 'The Nature and Characteristics of Wood', Journal of the Classical Chinese Furniture Society, Spring 1992, pp. 38-40.
Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Part I and Part II Including Property from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, 24 March 2011, New York, Rockefeller Plaza