Lot 881. A rare huanghuali rock table, 17th century; 33 in. (83.8 cm.) high, 43 1/8 in. (109.5 cm.) wide, 21 1/8 in. (53.6 cm.) deep. Estimate USD 200,000 - USD 300,000. Price realised USD 250,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2019.
The single, floating-panel-top is set in a rectangular frame with molded edges above a tall waist and plain, beaded apron. The whole is supported by 'giant arm's' braces and raised on beaded legs of square section terminating in finely carved hoof feet.
Note: Of elegant proportions and form, the present table would most likely have been used to support an object of great weight. The block joint at the corner, which secures the waist to the leg, is an extension of the leg. Further, the use of curved ‘giant’s arm’s’ braces indicate that the table was used for displaying a scholar’s rock, large archaic bronze vessel, or a censer. Wang Shixiang illustrates a line drawing of this joint in Connoisseurship of Chinese Furniture: Ming and Early Qing Dynasties, vol. I, Hong Kong, 1990, p. 121. no 3.32a. The strength of this joint allows for the table to be supported without stretchers, thereby creating a lighter and more rarefied form. A larger huanghuali burl-inset table with similar joint and 'giant's arm's' braces is illustrated in Grace Wu Bruce, The Best of the MQJ Collection of Ming Furniture, vol. 1, Beijing, 2018, pp. 112-15. A smaller huanghuali table with similar joint, but constructed without ‘giant arm’s’ braces was sold at Christie’s New York, 22 March 2019, lot 1669.
Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, New York, 13 September 2019