Lot 112. A small huanghuali and dalishi marble table screen, Late Ming dynasty; 23.7 by 24.7 by 12.5 cm., 9 3/8 by 9 3/4 by 4 7/8 in. Estimate 80,000 — 150,000 HKD. Lot Sold 1,250,000 HKD (143,695 EUR). Courtesy Sotheby's.
the rectangular creamy-beige dalishi marble panel with white, grey and brown inclusions, mounted in a huanghuali frame above a cusped spandrelled apron.
Exhibited: The Dr. S. Y. Yip Collection of Classic Chinese Furniture, Macao Museum of Art, Macau, 2003.
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. 60, pp. 172-173.
Note: "Inkstone screens are delicate table-top additions to the scholar's implements of brush, inkpot, and inksticks that is little known and recognised."
Table screens of this size are called yanping (inkstone screen); they are used for shielding ground ink from wind. Refer to the 15th century handscroll by Xie Huan, A Literary Gallery in the Apricot Garden in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, where a similar screen is placed next to an inkstone.
See Li Chu-Tsing and James C Y Watt, eds., The Chinese Scholar's Studio: Artistic Life in the Late Ming Period, New York, 1987, p. 125 for a smaller screen made of zitan excavated from the Wanli period (1573-1620) tomb of Zhu Shoucheng in Gucun zhen, Baoshan xian, Shanghai.
Sotheby's. Ming Furniture – The Dr S Y Yip Collection, Hong Kong, 07 October 2015