Christie's HK to offer huanghuali furniture May 30

Christie‟s Hong Kong will offer a range of important huanghuali furniture from various private collections, the first time such a large group is offered at auction in Hong Kong. Leading this category is a magnificent group of six pieces from a private Hong Kong collector acquired nearly 30 years ago. This imposing pair of huanghuali yoke-back armchairs from Ming dynasty (16th/17th century) rank among the most desirable forms for collectors of Chinese furniture and are estimated at $380,000-650,000). When the present pair was made nearly 500 years ago, they would have been reserved for the most important guests or members of the household, since the S-shaped backsplat puts the body into an upright position, giving the sitter an air of honour, dignity and power, while lower ranking members sat on stools

The form of the square frame leading into rounded legs can be seen in this rare huanghuali square corner-leg table, fangzhuo, from the late Ming/early Qing period, 17th century. Coming from the same collection, this form not only has an allegorical meaning – tianyuan difang (round heaven, square earth), but also served a practical purpose – its legs can be removed to become a low table placed on top of heated platforms in winter, or added back on, to become an elevated table in the summer. An example of a huanghuali table of this form can be found in the Palace Museum in Beijing.

Another interesting classical form in Chinese furniture – the recessed-leg table – is presented in this collection. The present lot is a huanghuali recessed-leg side table, pingtouan, from the late Ming/early Qing period, 17th century