Miniature huanghuali stand with marble top

Miniature huanghuali stand with marble top

Qing dynasty, 18th -19th century

Length: 8 inches, 20.3 cm
Width: 4 5/8 inches, 11.7 cm
Height: 2 3/8 inches, 7 cm

A rectangular huanghuali stand, supported on straight legs at the four corners. The top has a marble panel inset in the edge of the mitred mortise-and-tenon joined framework. The legs are joined by square-section hipped stretchers and supported by four small curved feet.  The stone has streaks in various shades of grey against the white ground.


This miniature stand resembles a low rectangular kang table. A Song dynasty painting by Liu Song-nien (1174 – 1224), Five Scholars of Tang, for instance depicts a high-waisted painting table with an inlaid stone top.[1]  It is likely that this small 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 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. A wood stand of comparable form and with the ‘Three Friends of Incense’ is illustrated in a late Qing dynasty gouache painting published by Beurdeley in Chinese Furniture.[2] There are two comparable 18th-century wood stands, both inset with a marble panel: one similarly made of huanghuali in the Vok collection is slightly larger in size[3]; the other made of zitan is similar in proportions and in the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.[4]


Provenance:  the collection of Louise Hawley Stone (1904 – 1997), Toronto, Canada. She was the Royal Ontario Museum’s first volunteer and was also a major donor, fundraiser, Board member and committee chair.

1 The painting is in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei, online collection archive, no. 故畫842
2 Beurdeley, M. Chinese Furniture, Kodansha International, New York, 1979, fig. 87, p. 67
3 Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst, Cologne, Pure Form- Classical Chinese Furniture- Vok Collection, Ignazio Vok, Germany, 2004, no. 51
4 Jacobsen, R. D. etc. Classical Chinese Furniture in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, 1999, p. 206, no. 84


清 十八 – 十九世紀
長:20.3 公分 寬:11.7 公分 高:7 公分
長方形大理石面,四周榫接黃花梨木,於四角向下延伸,直條腿足間以階形托泥相連,下承矮四足。此案造型源自明代長方形書案,逐漸成為文房几座之固定式樣之一。其大理石鑲面,石色白灰黑相 間,靈動多姿,於不同角度觀看,即帶給觀者不同之心靈觸發。兼者,石面相較木面耐高溫亦便於清 理,故多為香道使用,香爐、瓶、盒放置几上,香煙裊裊,更與石紋相互呼應。美國明尼阿波利斯美 術館亦藏有一件紫檀長方几座。
來源:加拿大多倫多 Louise Hawley Stone 女士收藏; 曾為皇家安大略博物館之主要贊助者及委員會 主席。