An exceptionally rare huanghuali low-back armchair, meiguiyi 17th century

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Lot 88TP Y
An exceptionally rare huanghuali low-back armchair, meiguiyi
17th century

Sold for £ 87,562 (US$ 121,966) inc. premium
An exceptionally rare huanghuali low-back armchair, meiguiyi
17th century
The chair with a rectangular top rail mortised and tenoned to the stiles, inset with a central reticulated panel finely carved with a pair of sinuous and confronted chilong, the stiles continuing through the seat frame and extending as the back legs, the arms mortise and tenon to the stiles and posts supporting a shou shaped strut on each side, continuing through the seat and extending as the front legs, the hard cane seat bordered by a horizontal stretcher set with vertical pillar-shaped struts below, the plain aprons joined to the front legs by a shaped footrest. 82cm (32 2/8in) high x 58cm (22 7/8in) wide x 45cm (17 6/8in) deep.

Footnotes

  • 十七世紀 黃花梨玫瑰椅

    Provenance: an English private collection, and thence by descent
    The collection was formed by the grandfather of the former owner who was the Assistant Commissioner, Shanghai Municipal Police, 1919-1928. His father was a Protestant missionary in China. The family returned to England shortly after the Second World War.

    來源:英國私人收藏,並由後人保存迄今。本拍品前任藏家之祖父曾於1919至1928年任上海公共租界工部局警務處副官,其父為一名新教傳教士;第二次世界大戰爆發後,舉家回到英格蘭。

    Compare with a similar huanghuali armchair, Ming dynasty, decorated with a identical design of entwined chilong as the present example, in the Qing Court Collection, in the Palace Museum. Beijing, illustrated in Furniture of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, vol.1, Hong Kong, 2002, p.53, no.39.

    Often referred to as 'rose' writing chairs, this type with low rectangular arms and back is the smallest among the classic forms. The sense of elegance and lightness, conveyed by the use of humpback stretchers with pillar-shaped struts both above the seat frame, encouraged portable and functional ease.

    The height of the present seat made it ideal for being placed against a window or wall, without obstructing a pleasant garden view. In addition, the straight back and arms, typical features of the meiguiyi, gave a sense of austerity to the scholars sitting in them.

    For a detailed discussion of low-back armchairs meiguiyi and their Song dynasty origin, see S.Handler, 'Rose, Bamboo and the Low-Back Armchair', in Chinese Furniture: Selected Articles from Orientations, 1984-1999, Hong Kong, 1999, pp.250-256. See also Wang Shixiang, 'Development of Furniture Design and Construction from the Song to the Ming', ibid., p.44.
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An exceptionally rare huanghuali low-back armchair, meiguiyi 17th century
An exceptionally rare huanghuali low-back armchair, meiguiyi 17th century
An exceptionally rare huanghuali low-back armchair, meiguiyi 17th century
An exceptionally rare huanghuali low-back armchair, meiguiyi 17th century
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