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23 février 2020

A huanghuali low table, Qing dynasty, 17th-18th century


Lot 31. huanghuali low table, Qing dynasty, 17th-18th century; 66.5 by 95.5 by 27cm., 26 1/4  by 37 5/8  by 10 5/8 in. Estimate 20,000 — 30,000 GBPLot sold 20,000 GBP. Photo Sotheby's.

the rectangular beaded top above a narrow waist and cusped beaded apron, continuing onto cabriole legs terminating in curled hoof feet.

Note: Elegantly constructed with a curvilinear beaded apron and cabriole legs, low rectangular tables of this type are commonly referred to as kang from the homonymous hollow brick platform, heated with hot air through a stove, which provided a warm surface in Chinese households during bitter cold winters. Already during the Song dynasty these tables were used for numerous purposes, including eating, playing games as well as reading and writing as attested in contemporary paintings and wood block prints. A low kang table with a similar curvilinear apron is illustrated in the painting Literary Gathering at the Orchid Pavilion, by Liu Songnian (c. 1150-after 1225), in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, published in Grace Wu Bruce, ‘Ming Furniture. Some Examples of Fakes and Forgeries and their Methods of Detection’, Chinese Furniture. Selected Articles from Orientations 1984-1999, Hong Kong, 1999, p. 109, pl. 5.

Compare a related low table in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, illustrated in Craig Clunas, Chinese Furniture, London, 1988, pl. 52; another included in the exhibition Chinese Hardwood Furniture in Hawaiian Collections, Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu, 1982, cat. no. 5; and two sold in our New York rooms, the first, 20th September 2000, lot 136, and the second, of slightly smaller size, 20th March 2012, lot 145.

Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art, New York, 11 november 2015