Qing dynasty imperial zitan side table
An early 18th century, rare ** Qing dynasty imperial zitan side table** sold for HK$18.5 million ($2.38 million) in 2010.
The 90 by 192 by 48.4cm table is made from tightly grained, dark gold-flecked zitan wood.
The plain table top contrasts with the intricate floral carvings on the legs.
Rectangular tables, or changzhou, such as this one were most commonly found in bedrooms or private chambers and were used either for writing or for taking casual meals.
According to Sotheby’s: “The feminine nature of the prunus blossom design suggest that the present table was possibly made for furnishing one of the East side palaces of the Forbidden City, where the court ladies resided.
“Furthermore, the fineness and the skill of the carving suggest an early 18th century attribution, either to the reign of the Kangxi (r.1662-1722) or his son, the Yongzheng emperor (r.1723-1735).”
Yamanaka Shokai, the Japanese antiques trading company, bought the piece from palace eunuchs in Beijing in 1911. It remained with Yamanaka Shokai until 1920.
Its whereabouts from then until 1982, when it was sold, are unknown. The table sold again on 1 June 1994 through Sotheby's.
It most recently changed hands when bought at a Sotheby’s Hong Kong action in 2010 by an unknown bidder for HK$18.5 million ($2.38 million), well above the guide price of HK$6 million – HK$8 million.
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