Miniature huanghuali hexagonal stand with marble top
China, Qing dynasty, 18th – 19th century
A hexagonal huanghuali stand, supported on six straight legs. The stand has a marble panel inset in the top of the mitred mortise-and tenon joined framework. The marble top has streaks of grey markings in a mottled grey-white ground. The legs are joined by square-section stretchers and the aprons above them are curved.
It is likely that this miniature stand was used for burning incense and for supporting the ‘Three Friends of Incense’ – the incense tool vase, incense burner and incense powder box. Its marble top, known as a Dali marble in China, would have been resistant to accidental damage from burning incense sticks. Small and portable, it could be used to display incense paraphernalia in the scholar’s studio or taken outdoors for use.