Lot 153. A huanghuali waisted corner-leg table, Late Ming dynasty; 164.5 by 53.5 by h. 81.3 cm. Lot sold: 8,820,000 HKD (Estimate: 3,000,000 - 5,000,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022
of high rectangular form, the top of standard mitre, mortise and tenon construction, the single board floating panel framed within double-reeded edges simulating bamboo, resting atop a straight recessed waist, sturdily supported by four cylindrical corner legs joint by humpback stretchers.
Provenance: Nicholas Grindley, Londo, 31st July 1998..
Note: The Song dynasty saw an unprecedented development and aesthetic appreciation of Chinese furniture, which continued to flourish over the years, reaching new heights during the Ming dynasty. Pleasing in proportions, the present table epitomises the minimalistic aesthetics of Ming furniture. The restrained elegance of this table is achieved through the rounded edges and circular legs, superbly designed to imitate their bamboo counterparts. The humpback stretchers gracefully join the aprons, providing extra legroom for the sitter. The use of precious hardwood to simulate common materials reflects the contemporaneous emphasis on subtlety over opulence.
Compare a larger bamboo-imitation painting table with similar aprons, but with the humpback stretchers wrapping around the legs, or guotui in Chinese, from the Dr S.Y. Yip collection, exhibited at 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. 24, and sold at these rooms, 7th October 2015, lot 106. A shorter huanghuali example with braces and guotui humpback stretchers in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is published in The Complete Collection of Ming and Qing furniture in the Palace Museum, Beijing, 2015, vol. 7: Table, pl. 73. A related zitan bamboo-imitation table of larger proportions but without aprons is illustrated in Wang Shixiang, Wang Shixiang ji: Ming shi jiaju yanjiu [Collected works of Wang Shixiang: Ming-style furniture research], Beijing, 2013, pl. B109.
Sotheby's. HOTUNG The Personal Collection of the late Sir Joseph Hotung: Part 1, Hong Kong, 9 October 2022