Lot 132. A pair of rare large mother-of-pearl-inlaid lacquer cabinets, Ming dynasty, 16th century. Hauteur: 188,5 cm. (74 ¼ in.), Largeur: 118 cm. (46 ½ in.), Profondeur: 56 cm. (22 in.). Estimate EUR 50,000 - EUR 80,000Price realised EUR 150,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2021

La façade de chaque cabinet est somptueusement décorée de papillons en vol autour de branches de pivoines et rochers. Les côtés sont ornés de cartouches rectangulaires et circulaires abritant oiseaux et rinceaux fleuris et feuillagés. Les portes s'ouvrent pour dévoiler trois étagères, toutes soutenues par quatre pieds.

NoteThe present pair of cabinets are outstanding examples of the meticulous and skilful technique of mother-of-pearl inlay on lacquer, which can be seen on Chinese furniture throughout the Ming dynasty. It is rare to find two cabinets remaining as a pair. Compare the very similar style of mother-of-pearl inlay seen on the present cabinets to that found on an inlaid black lacquer bed dated to the Ming dynasty, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Furniture of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (I), Hong Kong, 2002, pp. 10-11, no. 3. The way the branches are filled with multiple irregularly-shaped mother-of-pearl pieces is particularly comparable in this case. A single Ming dynasty mother-of-pearl inlaid black lacquer compound cabinet from the Blumenfield Collection was sold at Christie’s New York, 22 March 2012, lot 1338. Another single cabinet, dating to the 17th-18th century, sold at Christie’s New York, 24 March 2011, lot 1356, represents the transition of mother-of-pearl inlaid lacquer furniture from the Ming dynasty to the Kangxi period (1662-1722).
The dating of the current lot is consistent with results of the RCD Lockinge Carbon 14 test, ref. RCD-9292 and 9293.

Christie's. Art d'Asie, Paris, 9 june 2021