Lot 138. A pair of hongmu waisted stools, 17th century; 54.2 by 54.2 by h. 51.5 cm. Lot sold: 378,000 HKD (Estimate: 300,000 - 500,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022
each with the top of standard mitre, mortise and tenon construction enclosing a matted seat, with moulded sides above a narrow waist continuing to a plain apron, raised on four straight legs ending in hoof feet and joined by humpbacked stretchers below the apron.
Provenance: Eastern Pacific Co. (Hei Hung-Lu), Hong Kong, 10th January 1983.
Note: In the late Ming to early Qing period, stools were made in a variety of styles, mostly with great similarity to contemporaneous table designs. Well proportioned, the silhouette of this pair of waisted stools, with humpback-shaped stretchers and hoof feet, echoes that of a classic banzhuo table.
The ranking of seats in the Ming period was hierarchical with chairs being deemed more important seats reserved for the master of the house and senior guests. Formal occasions would also call for chairs while stools were used in more relaxed gatherings.
Two stools of this type are included in Wang Shixiang, Connoisseurship of Chinese Furniture, Hong Kong, 1980, pls A15 and A16. See a single example in this collection, lot 197.
This pair of stools was originally sold together with lot 166 as a set of four.
Sotheby's. HOTUNG The Personal Collection of the late Sir Joseph Hotung: Part 1, Hong Kong, 9 October 2022