A large huanghuali round-corner tapered cabinet, yuanjiaogui 18th century

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Lot 131TP Y
A large huanghuali round-corner tapered cabinet, yuanjiaogui
18th century

HK$ 1,500,000 - 1,800,000
US$ 190,000 - 230,000
Amended
A large huanghuali round-corner tapered cabinet, yuanjiaogui
18th century
The floating panel top set into a standard mitre, mortise and tenon, tongue and groove frame with rounded corners showing exposed tenons on the short sides, the four main stiles subtly splayed and double-tenoned into the top, rounded on the exterior edges and square in the interior, beaded along the edge between the stiles and the side panels and doors, the doors of typical mortise, tenon and floating panel construction, centred by a removable stile, opening to reveal a removable shelf resting on the dovetailed transverse braces of the side panels and a central section comprising a shelf and two drawers with metal plates and pulls, a plain apron tongue-and-grooved and butt-joined to the frame and sides, the door-frame members and the central stile fitted with rectangular metal plates and pulls and decorated with three lock receptacles, original lacquer coating on the back. 88cm (34 1/2in) wide x 46cm (18in) deep x 165cm (65in) high.

Footnotes

  • 十八世紀 黃花梨木軸門圓角櫃

    Provenance:
    Chan Shing Kee, Hong Kong
    A Hong Kong private collection, acquired from the above on 27 July 2007

    來源:
    陳勝記,香港
    香港私人收藏,於2007年7月27日由以上購得

    Cabinets of this form are referred to as yuanjiaogui, literally translated as 'round-corner cabinets', and were admired in the Ming dynasty by the literati. The present lot exemplifies the ingenious and beautiful design of classical Chinese furniture achieved through the harmonious balance of flat surfaces and round members together with the four recessed stiles that slope subtly outwards from the top corners. As G.N.Kates noted in Chinese Household Furniture, New York, 1948, p.32, these cabinets display the craftsmen's ability to 'handle inflexible wood in such masterly fashion that, almost unaware, one receives the impression of design in a living medium'.

    Although yuanjiaogui cabinets made their appearance in the late Ming period, their origin can be possibly traced back to rectangular chests with pyramid-shaped covers, which in the Song dynasty became larger with a pair of doors featured at the front. See a cabinet of such type illustrated raised on a table, in the Southern Song dynasty handscroll in the Heilongjiang Provincial Museum, illustrated by S.Handler, Austere Luminosity of Chinese Classical Furniture, Berkeley, 2001, p.244, fig 15.5.

    Pleasing in proportion and elegant in form, cabinets of this type grew in popularity from the late Ming period onwards. Earlier huanghuali cabinets of this type include smaller versions, see one, Ming dynasty, illustrated by Wang Shixiang, Classic Chinese Furniture - Ming and Early Qing Dynasties, Hong Kong, 1985, pl.141. See also a related pair of tapered huanghuali cabinets, early to mid-16th century, but with high legs and upward-flip spandrels and ribbing, in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, illustrated by S.Handler in ibid., p.251, fig.15.12; and another similar pair, from the collection of Francesco Maria, Marchese Taliani de Marchio, illustrated by G.Ecke, Chinese Domestic Furniture, Beijing, 1944, no.90, pl.111 (one of the pair), which was later sold at Bonhams London, 9 November 2017, lot 86.

    A huanghuali square-corner tapered cabinet, 17th/18th century was sold at Christie's New York, 21 March 2013, lot 930. See also a huanghuali round-corner cabinet, 17th/18th century from the John and Celeste Fleming collection, which was sold at Bonhams New York, 12 September 2016, lot 6017.

    櫃頂格角榫攢邊打槽鑲面心板,抹頭見明榫,二根穿帶支承。扇心板及兩側板皆整板對開,四腿敦實直上柜頂,偉岸修長。四足內側起極細線腳,延伸至四柱,即所謂「外圓裏方起陽線」。四根櫃腿為立柱起混面,角壓窄線。櫃門為標準格角榫攢邊打槽裝板,門框起混面壓邊線,中間以活動式閂杆。櫃帽做臼窩設櫃門門軸,獨板櫃門背面安四根穿帶出梢裝入門框。櫃內有活動屜板一層置於櫃幫穿帶上,中央一層固定格板裝兩具帶黃銅面頁與拉手抽屜。門下設櫃膛,起邊線底棖下安一格角帶耳形牙頭的素牙條,二端嵌入櫃腳,上以齊頭碰底棖。櫃門三片黃銅面頁及三個方形鈕頭與與吊牌。櫃內及櫃背部原裝漆灰。

    美國研究中國家具的先驅喬治·諾伯特·凱茨在《中國家用家具》(Chinese Household Furniture)一書中寫道:「以如此高超的手法處理僵硬的木頭,不著痕跡,讓人覺得一切宛如天生。」見該書,紐約,1948年,頁32。此柜便是範例。 圓角櫃雖在晚明流行,但是其形制最早或可追溯到宋代。黑龍江博物館藏南宋樓璹(1089-1162)所繪《蠶織圖》手卷卷末可見一方柜,置於條桌上,頗似現在所見圓角櫃制式,見莎拉·韓蕙著,《中國古典傢倶的光輝》(Austere Luminosity of Chinese Classical Furniture),伯克利,2001年,頁244,圖15.5。

    晚明到清代,圓角櫃在中式傢倶陳設中幾乎為必不可少之物,而大小有殊,此件圓角柜身形巨大,遠較小型或中型的圓角櫃稀有。參考一件明代黃花梨圓角櫃,樣式和體量和本件頗似,著錄於王世襄,《明式家具珍賞》,香港,1985年,圖版141。另可比較美國堪薩斯尼爾森艾金斯美術館一件十六世紀中期的黃花梨圓角櫃,見莎拉·韩蕙著前書,頁251,圖15.12;還可比較弗朗西斯高·塔利亞,塔里安利·得·馬基奧侯爵舊藏一對明代十六/十七世紀黃花梨圓角櫃,著錄於古斯塔夫·艾克著,《Chinese Domesitc Funiture》, 北京,1944年,偏好90, 圖版111, 後售於倫敦邦瀚斯,2017年11月9日,拍品編號86。

    佳士得紐約售出一件十七/十八世紀的黃花梨圓角櫃可比較之,2013年3月21日,拍品編號930;還可比較John和Celeste Fleming夫婦珍藏一對十七/十八世紀圓角櫃,2016年9月12日售於紐約邦瀚斯,拍品編號6017。

Saleroom notices

  • Please note the provenance should read: Ever Arts Classic Furniture Limited, Hong Kong A Hong Kong private collection, acquired from the above on 8 December 2005
    請留意本品來源更正: 恒藝古董家具有限公司,香港 香港私人收藏,於2005年12月8日由以上購得
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A large huanghuali round-corner tapered cabinet, yuanjiaogui 18th century
A large huanghuali round-corner tapered cabinet, yuanjiaogui 18th century
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