Lot 408. A huanghuali high-waist stand, 17th century. Height 27 in, 68.6 cm; Width 18 1/4 in., 46.2 cm; Depth 13. 7/8 in., 35.2 cm. Estimate 25,000 — 35,000 USD. Lot sold 257,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby's.
the floating panel top of standard miter, mortise and tenon construction with a flush tongue and groove floating panel above a recessed waist and apron, tenoned and half-lapped to the square section legs extending down and terminating in well-defined hoof feet.
Provenance: Grace Wu Bruce Company Ltd., Hong Kong.
Note: Taller versions of this form were used for displaying rock sculptures, miniature plants (penzai). vases of flowers and incense burners. This rare, lower form was also used for the aforementioned but the height is also perfect for use while seated and so is associated with an early style of tea table. These stands are the predecessors of the Qing dynasty tea tables and were depicted in Ming paintings and woodblock prints as stands for incense burners. A related example from the Vok collection is illustrated in Nicholas Grindley, Pure Form, Classical Chinese Furniture, Vok Collection, Munich, 2004, no. 35 where the author describes a very early version of the table, a painting "Washing the Moon" by an unknown painter of the Five Dynasties or possibly a late Song copy includes a red lacquer table of similar form.
Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art. New York, 18 March 2014