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    Sale 2389

    Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    27 November 2007, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1822

    A RARE ZITAN SQUARE WEIQI KANG TABLE WITH ACCOMPANYING PAIR OF ZITAN WEIQI COUNTER CONTAINERS AND COVERS

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A RARE ZITAN SQUARE WEIQI KANG TABLE WITH ACCOMPANYING PAIR OF ZITAN WEIQI COUNTER CONTAINERS AND COVERS
    QING DYANSTY (1644-1911)

    The low square table with central panel supported by two transverse braces, inlaid with a silver wire grid seated within a beaded 'ice plate' frame above a recessed waist and curvilinear apron carved in high relief with entwined scolling foliage, supported on four cabriole legs terminating in squared scroll feet, the underside covered in black lacquer; the rounded weiqi counter containers with flattened domed lids, containing round bone and black stone counters
    The table 18 1/8 in. (46 cm.) square x 5 in. (12.7 cm.) high


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    Examples of small lacquer gaming boards raised on short legs have been excavated from Hubei province from tombs dated to as early as the Warring States period.

    By the end of the Ming dynasty, the increased supply of rare tropical hardwoods resulted in many of the most prized scholar's objects to be crafted from huanghuali or zitan.

    No identical examples of zitan gaming tables appear to have been published.

    An example of this weiqi table is seen depicted on a court painting, in the Palace Museum Collection, by the artist Jiao Bingzhen, entitled Classical Ladies, illustrated in Qingdai Gongting Huihua, Hong Kong, 1992, p. 31, bottom right (see fig. 1).

    A number of similarly inlaid hardwood gaming boards and tables are in public and private collections. Compare an early Qing huanghuali and jichimu game board with accompanying weiqi counter boxes now in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts included in the Grace Wu Bruce Co., Ltd exhibition, Ming Furniture, Hong Kong, 1995, Catalogue no. 37 and illustrated in Classic Chinese Furniture in the Minneapolis Museum of Art, Minnesota, 1999, nos. 80 and 81. Another, foldable huanghuali gaming board was included in the Grace Wu Bruce exhibition, Classic Chinese Furniture, Hong Kong, 2001-2002, no. 24.

    Compare also a number of large square games tables with removable tops revealing the games board and accessories beneath. A 17th century hunaghuali example from the Hung Collection is illustrated in One Hundred Examples from the Mimi and Raymond Hung Collection, New York, 1996, no. 52.

    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN