Lot 129. A small huanghuali and green stone recessed-leg table with a shield, pingtouan, Late Ming dynasty; 75 by 68.4 by 38.6 cm., 29 1/2 by 26 7/8 by 15 1/4 in. Estimate 900,000 — 1,800,000 HKD. Lot Sold 3,320,000 HKD (381,654 EUR). Courtesy Sotheby's.
Literature: Catherine Maudsley, ed., Classical and Vernacular Chinese Furniture in the Living Environment, Hong Kong, 1998, p. 125.
Note: "Addition of a shelf gives the table a different presence. Green clouds on the table top gives it a distinct complexion."
Various stones, especially dalishi marble were favoured as table tops in Song times, as evidenced by their frequent depiction in scholarly gatherings in Song paintings, e.g. The Eighteen Scholars in the National Palace Museum, Taipei. Surviving examples of Ming furniture with stone panels are rare. However, the side tables with inset stone panels excavated from the tomb of Prince Zhu Tan (1370-1389) in Shandong wood seem to indicate that stone panels as table tops were popular in Ming furniture manufacture. This type of table is a standard Ming design that has evolved from the classic pingtouan table.
For similar examples with a huanghuali top, see Wang Shixiang et al., Masterpieces from the Museum of Classical Chinese Furniture, Chicago and San Francisco, 1995, pp. 96-97 and Grace Wu Bruce, Ming Furniture in the Forbidden City, Grace Wu Bruce, Hong Kong, 2006, pp. 86-87.
Sotheby's. Ming Furniture – The Dr S Y Yip Collection, Hong Kong, 07 October 2015