Lot Content

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A ZITAN AND WUMU TAPERED CABINET, YUANJIAOGUI
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION 
A ZITAN AND WUMU TAPERED CABINET, YUANJIAOGUI

17TH/18TH CENTURY

Details
A ZITAN AND WUMU TAPERED CABINET, YUANJIAOGUI
17TH/18TH CENTURY
The protruding round-cornered top supported on slightly splayed corner posts of round section, enclosing the rectangular-panel doors opening from the removable center stile, the interior fitted with two shelves and a pair of drawers, all above the plain narrow apron and apron-head spandrels, the darker color of the wumu frame forming an attractive contrast with the zitan panels
46½ in. (118.6 cm.) high, 30 in. (76 cm.) wide, 16 in. (41 cm.) deep
Provenance
Christie's, New York, The Mr. and Mrs. Robert P. Piccus Collection of Fine Classical Chinese Furniture, 18 September 1997, lot 25.

Lot Essay

Because it was costly and only grew to a small diameter, wumu, or ebony, was rarely used as a structural material in Chinese furniture, but, rather, as a decorative element. This is seen, for example, in the four-shelf huanghuali bookcase with ebony railings illustrated by Wang Shixiang and C. Evarts, Masterpieces from the Museum of Classical Chinese Furniture, p. 122, no. 57, sold in these rooms, 19 September 1996, lot 80.

The present example, which combines wumu for the framework and the equally prized zitan for the broader panel elements, ranks as a fine example of the subtle way the skilled craftsmen would combine rare materials to create an effect that would be most appreciated by the scholar collector.

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