16 September 2016
A MINIATURE HUANGHUALI TWO-TIERED PICNIC BOX, TIHE
The box is comprised of a cover and two deep trays set on a base frame from which rises the rectangular handle flanked on the sides by standing spandrels. The handle and frame are reinforced with metal mounts.
5 3/8 in. (13.7 cm.) high, 7 1/16 in. (18 cm.) wide, 4 ½ in. (11.5 cm.) deep
Contact Client Service
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Asia +852 2760 1766
MD Flacks Ltd, Classical Chinese Furniture I, New York, Spring 1997, p. 31, no. 16.
This picnic box is of a classic form which has been interpreted in a rare small size. The cover and trays have delicately beaded edges, and the huanghuali has an excellent patina and grain with a number of “ghost eyes” visible in the top panel of the cover.
The shape of tiered picnic boxes has remained unchanged since the Song dynasty (AD 960-1279) when they were larger and more likely to have been made of bamboo or soft woods and used to transport food and wine. By the Ming dynasty (1308-1644) they were of smaller size and made of valuable hardwoods such as huanghuali and zitan. The shape was also found to be useful for storing or carrying small precious objects, which was most likely the function of the present box.
How to get clued up on everything from reign marks to firing flaws, palettes, glazes and the different kilns
Christie’s most ambitious offering of Western art to date adds to strong performance in 18 sales across six days
The dealer in Chinese furniture, paintings and scholar’s objects discusses his collecting journey — and how he once almost sold his wife’s favourite scholar’s rock
As well as keeping the bed cool, ancient Chinese ceramic pillows made for auspicious gifts and warded off evil spirits
As Chinese Ceramics specialist Joan Ho explains, when it comes to porcelain, not all blues are the same
The Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale totals £128,081,750, with works by Picasso and a record-breaking Franz Marc painting also achieving top prices
Alastair Smart profiles the life and work of the Pre-Raphaelite artist described by Burne-Jones as ‘the best of us all’ — illustrated with works offered in July