Lot 1662. A huanghuali canopy bed, jiazichuang, 17th century; 89 ½ in. (227.3 cm.) high, 83 in. (210.8 cm.) wide, 48 in. (121.9 cm.) deep. Estimate USD 150,000 - USD 250,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2019
The mat seat is set in a rectangular frame above the narrow waist and shaped, beaded aprons carved with confronted chilong amidst scrolls. The whole is raised on cabriole legs carved with lion masks terminating in paw feet. The posts are joined on all sides by openwork railings carved with stylized flowers and openwork panels with chilong, and by humpback stretchers below the canopy frame.
Note: In the traditional Chinese domestic setting, the bed is among the most important pieces of furniture. Its large size meant that it would dominate the bedroom, and it was probably the most expensive item to commission, due to the large amount of timber used. A canopy bed served multiple functions, offering not only a place to sleep at night but also to act as a center of activity during the day. Curtains were hung from the canopy frame, providing a private, intimate, and warm place to sleep. During the day, the curtains were drawn to the side, and the bed functioned as a couch; sometimes a side table was pulled up to the frame of the bed, or a kang table could be placed directly on the mat itself, offering a surface for tea or wine, small meals, or board games.
Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, New York, 22 March 2019