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A RARE PAIR OF HUANGHUALI 'FOUR-CORNERS EXPOSED OFFICIAL'S HAT' ARMCHAIRS, SICHUTOUGUANMAOYI
A RARE PAIR OF HUANGHUALI 'FOUR-CORNERS EXPOSED OFFICIAL'S HAT' ARMCHAIRS, SICHUTOUGUANMAOYI
A RARE PAIR OF HUANGHUALI 'FOUR-CORNERS EXPOSED OFFICIAL'S HAT' ARMCHAIRS, SICHUTOUGUANMAOYI
A RARE PAIR OF HUANGHUALI 'FOUR-CORNERS EXPOSED OFFICIAL'S HAT' ARMCHAIRS, SICHUTOUGUANMAOYI
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A RARE PAIR OF HUANGHUALI 'FOUR-CORNERS EXPOSED OFFICIAL'S HAT' ARMCHAIRS, SICHUTOUGUANMAOYI

17TH CENTURY

Details
A RARE PAIR OF HUANGHUALI 'FOUR-CORNERS EXPOSED OFFICIAL'S HAT' ARMCHAIRS, SICHUTOUGUANMAOYI
17TH CENTURY
Each chair has a sweeping curved, protruding crest rail supported on an S-shaped back splat and elegantly curved rear posts. The curved arm rails are supported on tapering stiles and extend beyond the curved front posts. The mat seat is set in a wide rectangular frame finely carved with a molded edge above plain, beaded aprons. The legs of square section have a finely molded edge and are joined by square-section humpback stretchers and vertical struts, above a foot rest and stepped stretchers on the sides, above plain aprons.
47 in. (119.4 cm.) high, 25 in. (63.5 cm.) wide, 19 ¼ in. (48.9 cm.) deep
Provenance
The Collection of Philip W. Manhard (1922-1998), McLean, Virginia.
Eskenazi Ltd., London.

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Michael Bass
Michael Bass

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Lot Essay

The present pair of chairs displays an unparalleled grace and finesse seen only in the finest furniture dating to the Ming dynasty. Of the four categories of chair, the 'four corners-exposed' armchair is one of the earliest classic forms found in huanghuali furniture design. The present pair of chairs is distinguished by the elegant lines and fine quality of the huanghuali.

The deeply curved crest rails with rounded ends are beautifully carved and dramatically contrast the box-like construction of the lower section. The thick curved members would have resulted in a significant amount of wastage, and suggests the considerable importance of the gentleman who commissioned the chairs. The most comparable published example, of similar proportion, is a single chair in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - Furniture of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (I), Hong Kong, 2002, pl. 26. Like the present pair, the Palace Museum example exhibits the same deeply curved crest rail, square-section legs, and box-like construction below the seat.

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