A SIX-POST HUANGHUALI CANOPY BED, JIAZICHUANG
A SIX-POST HUANGHUALI CANOPY BED, JIAZICHUANG
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PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED NEW YORK COLLECTION
A SIX-POST HUANGHUALI CANOPY BED, JIAZICHUANG

17TH CENTURY

Details
A SIX-POST HUANGHUALI CANOPY BED, JIAZICHUANG
17TH CENTURY
The mat top is set into a rectangular frame above a narrow waist and plain apron continuing to the square legs with incurving hoof feet. The posts are joined on all sides by openwork railings of quadrilobed lattice and and openwork panels of foliate scroll above shaped panels with beaded borders. A slender horizontal stretcher reinforces the two back posts leaving an opening at front.
86 ¾ in. (220.5 cm.) high, 85 ¼ in. (209 cm.) wide, 43 1/8 in. (109.6 cm.) deep
Provenance
Arthur M. Sackler Collections, New York.
Else Sackler Collections, New York.
Arthur M. Sackler Foundation.
Exhibited
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, The Arts of China, February 10, 1993 - 2005.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Pavilions and Immortal Mountains, September 27, 1987-February 28, 1988.

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Michael Bass
Michael Bass

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Lot Essay

Canopy beds appear to have been closely influenced by architectural construction. They are the only form of furniture noted in the Ming dynasty carpenter's manual, Lu Ban Jing, to have used auspicious measurements that were also employed for buildings. It was common practice to use drapery to create a private world within a closed curtain, and examples can be seen in Ming and Qing woodblock prints. As noted by Sarah Handler in her discussion of the form in Austere Luminosity of Chinese Classical Furniture, London, 2001, pp.139-58, canopy beds occupied a central and dominant position in the Ming dynasty household. During the daytime they would be used, with curtains drawn, for entertaining guests, often seated around small items of furniture designed to be accommodated on the beds. At nighttime, the curtains would be closed and the bed would become a private world of rest and intimacy.
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