Length: 17 7/8 inches, 45.5 cm
Width: 5 3/8 inches, 13.5 cm
Height: 5 1/8 inches, 13 cm

Miniature huanghuali table

China, Ming dynasty, late 16th to 17th century

A miniature table made of huanghuali, the top is supported on two pairs of recessed legs at both ends. The rectangular top has everted flanges above a shaped, beaded apron. The frontward curving legs are supported by lingzhi fungus spandrels in openwork. The well-figured wood is polished and patinated.

Both the design and the construction of this miniature table are identical to a full-scale qiaotouan (meaning ‘everted flanges table’) of the Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644), such as an example in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, of nearly 345 cm in length.[1]  Such a miniature table, too small for being used as a piece of furniture, would have been used either as a stand to support curios or potted landscapes in a scholar’s studio, or as an altar table in front of a gilt-bronze stature of Buddha.[2]  A very similar miniature huanghuali table stand, of closely comparable size, design and proportions and dated to later 16th to early 17th century, is in the Dr. S. Y. Yip collection.[3]  Another example of the same dating and comparable both in size and design is in the Lu Ming Shi collection.[4]

the collection of Louise Hawley Stone, Toronto, Canada.
She was the Royal Ontario Museum’s first volunteer and was also a major donor, fundraiser, Board member and committee chair.
Ben Janssens Oriental Art, Novenber 2016
Private Collection, UK

1     Zhu, J. J. The Completed Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Furniture of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, vol. I, Hong Kong, 2002, no. 141, p. 166
2    Wang, Shixiang, Classical Chinese Furniture- Ming and early Qing Dynasties, Han-Shan Tang eLtd, London, 1986, p. 175
3    Yip, Sing Yiu and Bruce, Grace Wu, Chan Chair and Qin Bench- The Dr. S. Y. Yip Collection of Classic Chinese Furniture II, Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1998, no. 50, pp. 156-7
4    Bruce, Grace Wu, Living with Ming- the Lu Ming Shi Collection, Hong Kong, 2000, no. 69, pp. 208-9