• Important Chinese Ceramics and auction at Christies

    Sale 2731

    Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    1 December 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1936

    A RARE HUANGHUALI FOUR-SHELF BOOKCASE, JIAGE

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A RARE HUANGHUALI FOUR-SHELF BOOKCASE, JIAGE
    QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)

    The slender beaded corner posts of rounded section framing the top and four open shelves, the upper and lower shelf framed by curvilinear aprons pierced with C-scrolls, the upper shelf divided into two compartments by a vertical post, the second shelf framed by low reticulated railings with coiled chi dragons among lotus, set on one side with a closed compartment with a pair of wood-hinged doors, the third shelf framed on three sides by similar reticulated railings with lotus blooms surrounding a central Shou character, all above beaded, shaped aprons and spandrels on all four sides
    57 1/2 x 34 1/8 x 15 1/4 in. (146 x 86.5 x 39 cm.)


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    Elegantly and finely carved huanghuali display or bookcases such as the current example are rare. The present bookcase is particularly unusual for the inclusion of a lockable cabinet to one side which would have been used to store small precious objects. Books and scrolls could be stored in cabinets or on open shelves. Scrolls would be placed horizontally on the shelves and books stored flat on their sides with covers facing up.

    Compare with a four-shelf bookcase with reticulated latticework railings illustrated by Wang Shixiang, Connoisseurship of Chinese Furniture: Ming and Early Qing Dynasties, vol. II, Hong Kong, 1990, p. 142, D6. A huanghuali, wumu and tielimu four-shelf bookcase with railings can be found in the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, published in Classical Chinese Furniture in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, 1999, p. 143. Compare also with a three-shelf huanghuali bookcase from the Dr. S.Y. Yip Collection sold at Christie's New York, The Dr. Yip Collection of Important Chinese Furniture, 20 September 2002, lot 33 with similar cusped ornamental openings.

    Literature

    Ellsworth, Robert Hatfield, Chinese Furniture: One Hundred and Three Examples from the Mimi and Raymond Hung Collection, New York, 2005, p.24, no.7