A very rare pair of carved cinnabar lacquer 'phoenix' chairs 18th century
Lot 337* W
A very rare pair of carved cinnabar lacquer 'phoenix' chairs
18th century
£200,000 - 300,000
US$ 330,000 - 500,000
Auction Details
A very rare pair of carved cinnabar lacquer 'phoenix' chairs 18th century A very rare pair of carved cinnabar lacquer 'phoenix' chairs 18th century A very rare pair of carved cinnabar lacquer 'phoenix' chairs 18th century A very rare pair of carved cinnabar lacquer 'phoenix' chairs 18th century A very rare pair of carved cinnabar lacquer 'phoenix' chairs 18th century A very rare pair of carved cinnabar lacquer 'phoenix' chairs 18th century A very rare pair of carved cinnabar lacquer 'phoenix' chairs 18th century A very rare pair of carved cinnabar lacquer 'phoenix' chairs 18th century A very rare pair of carved cinnabar lacquer 'phoenix' chairs 18th century
Lot Details
A very rare pair of carved cinnabar lacquer 'phoenix' chairs
18th century
Each formed with a circular seat supported on four straight legs ending in scroll terminals and joined by carved waisted aprons, the seats surmounted by a splat flanked by two vertical struts and joined to the two arm-rests, all the surfaces covered with deep layers of red lacquer ornately carved with richly detailed phoenix amidst a wealth of blossoming flowers including peony, aster, prunus, chrysanthemum and lotus, the front and back of each splat with a single phoenix perching proudly on rockwork with wings outspread. Each 57.5cm wide x 87.5cm high (22¾in wide x 34½in high) (2).

Footnotes

  • 十八世紀 剔紅鳳凰穿花紋扶手圓椅一對

    The splendour and technical accomplishment of these 'phoenix' chairs strongly suggests an Imperial provenance. The rich red lacquer is intricately and densely carved in a complex and subtle design to display the highest technical ability, emphasising the high status of any person sitting on such chairs.

    Compare a pair of chairs of identical shape and style of carving but decorated with five-clawed dragons rather than phoenix, and incised and gilded with a six-character Qianlong mark, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, Masterworks of Chinese Art, 5 and 6 November 1997, lot 923. It is interesting to note the close connection between the dragon representing the Emperor and the phoenix representing the Empress which, combined with the identical design of these pairs of chairs, would suggest that the four chairs may have formed part of a suite of furniture intended for use in the Imperial quarters.
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