Lot 3031. A huanghuali rectangular incense stand, xiangji, Late Ming-Early Qing dynasty, 17th century; 34 in. (86.5 cm.) high, 25 in. (63.5 cm) wide, 18 3⁄4 in. (47.5 cm) deep. Price realised HKD 3,750,000 (Estimate HKD 3,000,000 - HKD 5,000,000). © Christie's 2021
The top is set in a square frame above the narrow waist and the plain apron, all resting on elegantly curved cabriole legs ending in upturned tendril ball-shaped feet.
Note: Incense and other aromatics have been burned in Chinese culture since the Han dynasty and were used for both, secular and religious purposes. Censers were used not only to burn incense, but also to hold a variety of aromatic substances that can slowly release their scent. Censers and their stands would be placed in interiors, in Imperial offices, private residences but could also be placed in places of worship or used outdoors. Therefore, incense stands have become a standard piece within Chinese furniture for any individual who could afford luxury goods. The high waist and the graceful undulations suggest this stand could probably linked to Buddhism. High waisted pedestal stands, xumizuo, were commonly placed in front of Buddhist images. For further discussion on the use and shape of incense stands, see Wang Shixiang, Connoisseurship of Chinese Furniture: Ming and Early Qing Dynasties, Hong Kong, 1990, vol.1, p.52-54.
Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Hong Kong, 3 Dec 2021