• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2389

    Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    27 November 2007, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1828

    AN IMPERIAL CINNABAR LACQUER MINIATURE DISPLAY CABINET

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AN IMPERIAL CINNABAR LACQUER MINIATURE DISPLAY CABINET
    QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)

    The compartmentalized cabinet with the central section closed behind a pair of hinged doors, one door panel carved with a flowering prunus branch, and the other with two bunches of narcissus sprays, below an open display shelf, flanked on either side with drawers below further open shelves, the upper facing surface of one side with a separate stand supporting three boxes, carved and modeled to imitate books below a finial formed as a lion seal, and the other side with a single detachable book below a box with beveled edges
    13 3 8 x 5 1 8 x 11 in. (34 x 13 x 28 cm.), wood stand (4)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    The pair to this cabinet from the Toms collection sold at Sotheby's London, 7 June 1995, lot 131.

    Although cinnabar lacquer appears to be a popular choice for scholar's objects, it is highly unusual to find miniature display cabinets complete with imitation books. The only other closely comparable examples appear to be a lacquered miniature, in imitation of a square-corner cabinet, from the Palace Museum, Beijing, measuring 60.5 cm. high and 39.5 cm. wide, is illustrated in Zhongguao Meishu Quanji, Qing, vol. 6, no. 230; and another sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 9 October 2007, lot 1645.

    Compare the boxes with related objects from the scholar's desk, such as the cinnabar lacquer stationery set, also from the Palace Museum, displayed on a waisted tray comprising a brushpot, two seals, a covered ink stone box, a rectangular box, a pen and a box in imitation of bound books, illustrated ibid., no. 232. Another stationery set was included in the exhibition, Qing Legacies: The Art of Imperial Packaging of Qing Dynasty, Macau, 2001, and illustrate in the Catalogue, no. 33. Compare also a cinnabar lacquer box modelled as a book, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 31 October 2000, lot 1012.

    Provenance

    A Japanese private collection