Lot 101. A huanghuali and green stone Chajiansun recessed leg wine table, Late Ming dynasty; 83 by 106 by 54 cm., 32 5/8 by 41 3/4 by 21 1/4 in. Estimate 9,000,000 - 15,000,000. Lot Sold 25,280,000 HKD (2,906,086 EUR). Courtesy Sotheby's.
the frame top of standard mitre, mortise and tenon construction with a figured green stone top supported by a lacquered board panel with three dovetailed stretchers underneath, the frame with exposed tenons on the short sides, the edge of the frame moulding downward and inward and ending in a double-beaded edge, the rectangular legs decorated with beaded edges and cut to house the exquisitely shaped, beaded-edged apron with openwork leaf-shaped spandrels, made of one piece of wood and set flush with the legs in a chajiansun, flush bridle join with mitred shoulders, the legs decorated with liangzhuxiang double beading in the centre, gently flaring into foliate motifs and extending supports at the feet, each pair of legs conjoined on the shorter sides with rectangular stretchers decorated with mouldings at all four corners.
Exhibited: The Dr. S. Y. Yip Collection of Classic Chinese Furniture, Macao Museum of Art, Macau, 2003, pp. 22-23.
Grace Wu Bruce, Feast by a wine table reclining on a couch: The Dr. S. Y. Yip Collection of Classic Chinese Furniture III, Art Museum, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2007, cat. no. 16, pp. 62-65.
Grace Wu Bruce, Grace Wu Bruce presents a choice selection of Ming Furniture from the Dr. S. Y. Yip collections, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong, 2012, pp. 30-31.
Literature: Wang Shixiang, Classic Chinese Furniture: Ming and Early Qing Dynasties, Hong Kong, 1985, pl. 80.
Note: "This wine table is a salute to Bacchus, God of wine with its delicate lines, “grape leaf” spandrels and moulded feet – exclusively for connoisseurs and not for the rough drunkard!"
Chajiansun wine tables are considered to be one of the most beautiful forms in Ming furniture designs. Surviving examples of tables with this flush bridle join, chajiansun, are very much fewer in numbers compared to recessed leg tables with standard bridle joins, jiatousun, presumably because the flush bridle join, almost always associated with exquisite spandrels and feet pads, is a much more complex joinery system to make.
The only known similar, but slightly smaller, example is in a private collection in Johannesburg, published in Grace Wu Bruce, Chinese Classical Furniture, Hong Kong, 1995, pl. 13, and also in Grace Wu Bruce, Two Decades of Ming Furniture, Beijing, 2010, p. 71 (bottom).
Sotheby's. Ming Furniture – The Dr S Y Yip Collection, Hong Kong, 07 October 2015