Lot 26. A Huanghuali Corner-Leg Table, Tiaozhuo, Late Ming Dynasty; 81 by 153.5 by 54cm., 31 3/4 by 60 3/8 by 21 1/4 in. Estimate 60,000 — 80,000 GBP. Lot sold 461,000 GBP. © Sotheby's 2015
the panelled rectangular top supported on a straight waist and beaded apron, the long elegant beaded square-section legs terminating in hoof feet.
Provenance: Purchased from Hei Hung-Lu, Hong Kong, late 1980s/early 1990s.
Note: The simple form of this table highlights the rich colour and attractive natural patterns of the grain of the wood. This table is unusual as tables of this size are more commonly found with stretchers or spandrels to support the structure and weight of objects it would hold. Compare a table in the Arthur M. Sackler Gellery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., placed in a reconstruction of a scholar’s studio, published in Sarah Handler, Austere Luminosity of Chinese Classical Furniture, Berkeley, 2001, p. 21, fig. 1.13.
Long tables such as the present are known as tiaozhuo and would have been used in the scholar’s studio as its length and absence of stretchers would have been suitable for sitting at a chair for the creation and admiration of scroll paintings whilst holding books, brush holders and other scholar’s objects. The present table is a particularly attractive example of the sense of grandeur captured by the simple forms and tapering legs which culminate at horse hoof feet.
Sotheby's. Classical Chinese Furniture from a European Private Collection, London, 11 november 2015