Lot 888. A rare parquetry-embellished zitan corner-leg table, tiaozhuo, late 18th-19th century; 31 3/8 in. (79.7 cm.) high, 34 ¾ in. (88.2 cm.) wide, 14 7/8 in. (37.7 cm.) deepEstimate USD 80,000 - USD 120,000. Price realised USD 175,000© Christie's Image Ltd 2019.

The top is composed of a floating panel finely inlaid with square pieces of zitanhuanghuali, and nanmu in a geometric pattern set in a rectangular frame with 'water-stopping' molding and 'ice-plate' edge. The narrow waist is carved with a continuous ruyi border above a finely beaded apron. The whole is raised on legs of square section framed by shaped spandrels carved with archaistic scroll, and terminating in scroll-form hoof feet.

NoteThe parquetry design seen on the present table is an example of the cross cultural exchange between Europe and China during the Qing dynasty. Parquetry, and the related technique marquetry, was a European practice seen in furniture from the 18th century, whereby woods of contrasting color and grain were mixed to create complex geometric patterns and floral designs or landscape scenes.

A small zitan chest dated to Qianlong period, displaying a harlequin design worked in marquetry using various type of wood including huanghuali and hongmu is illustrated in M. Flacks, Classical Chinese Furniture III: Woods of China, Autumn 1998, New York, p. 34-35, no. 18.

Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, New York, 13 September 2019