H0046-L81176235

A SMALL HUANGHUALI RECESSED-LEG PAINTING TABLE, PINGTOUAN LATE MING DYNASTY |

A SMALL HUANGHUALI RECESSED-LEG PAINTING TABLE, PINGTOUAN LATE MING DYNASTY |

A SMALL HUANGHUALI RECESSED-LEG PAINTING TABLE, PINGTOUAN LATE MING DYNASTY |

A SMALL HUANGHUALI RECESSED-LEG PAINTING TABLE, PINGTOUAN LATE MING DYNASTY |

 

Lot 130. A small huanghuali recessed-leg painting table, pingtouan, Late Ming dynasty; 81.3 by 137.5 by 81.3 cm., 32 by 54 1/8  by 32 in. Estimate 2,800,000 — 4,000,000 HKD. Lot Sold 7,880,000 HKD (905,853 EUR). Courtesy Sotheby's.

the top of standard mitre, mortise and tenon construction, with a huamu two-board, tongue-and-grooved, floating panel supported by four dovetailed transverse stretchers and an additional cross stretcher underneath, all with exposed tenons, the edge of the frame gently moulded and ending in a beaded edge, the splayed round legs double tennoned into the top and cut to house the shaped spandrelled apron, each pair of legs conjoined on the shorter sides with two oval-sectioned stretchers.

ExhibitedGrace Wu Bruce, Dreams of Chu Tan Chamber and the Romance with Huanghuali Wood: The Dr. S. Y. Yip Collection of Classic Chinese Furniture, Art Museum, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 1991, cat. no. 22, pp. 66-67.

Literature: Catherine Maudsley, ed., Classical and Vernacular Chinese Furniture in the Living Environment, Hong Kong, 1998, p. 125.

Note"A classic desk of elegant simplicity."

Tables with legs not at the corners, but recessed, are called an tables. This classic pingtouan design has its origin in ancient Chinese architecture in wood. Completely plain, this simple form with pure lines is what first captured the attention of twentieth century furniture historians. The design is now considered quintessentially Ming.

Tables with this design were used for various functions as seen in Ming publications in woodblock illustrations. The present example, being unusually deep, over 81 cm deep, is especially suitable for being used as a desk, the modern equivalent of a Ming dynasty painting table. Painting tables are very rare in surviving examples of classic Chinese furniture.

A very similar painting table in the Lu Ming Shi Collection, also with a huamu top, but not as deep, is illustrated in Grace Wu Bruce, Living with Ming – the Lu Ming Shi Collection, Hong Kong, 2000, pp. 126-127.

Sotheby's. Ming Furniture – The Dr S Y Yip Collection, Hong Kong, 07 October 2015