18th century The well figured single board top set into a mitered, mortise and tenon frame with ice-plate edge over a plain apron half lapped to u-shaped flanges and joined to flared oval supports and paired transverse stretchers. 32 x 87 1/2 x 22 5/8in (81.3 x 222.2 x 57cm)
A table of very similar design in the collection of the Minneapolis Museum of Art dated to the late Ming/early Qing era, is published in Robert Jacobson and Nicholas Grindley, Classical Chinese Furniture in the Minneapolis Museum of Arts, Chicago, 1999; catalog entry 40, pp. 122-123. The authors call this type of table 'one of the most enduring furniture forms of the entire world,' even showing small details of the 'Qingming Shanghe Tu' where furniture of this type makes a cameo appearance. Jacobson and Grindley point out that the terms 'ping tou'an' or 'yi zi zhuo' are preferable to the English 'altar table,' noting that in a traditional Chinese context, though the table could be used as an altar, 'they were not exclusive to that purpose.'
For closely related examples, see lot 128, sold Sotheby's New York, Sept. 14th, 2011, lot 2107, sold Sotheby's Hong Kong October 5, and lot 1378, sold Christies, New York, March 24, 2011 and lot 152, sold in these rooms on May 28, 2012.
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