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An exceptionally rare and important mid 18th century carved huanghuali tripod table, having a tip-up pie crust top finely carved with shell decoration and gadrooned edge above a bird cage action on a fluted column with acanthus carved knop; on cabriole legs with acanthus carved knees terminating in claw and ball feet.

Note: This extraordinary table is without doubt influenced by contemporary English models but differs in it's use of pegs and dry joint construction commonly used in Chinese furniture making. Probably made in the region of Canton which at the time had the largest and sole trade port for European exports. It is conceivable that this table would have been commissioned by an Englishman either residing in Canton or exporting it directly to England as an exotic addition to his home furnishings.

Very few if any tripod tables of comparison are known to have survived. Chairs commissioned by the powerful export trade family Gough and immortalised in a painting dated 1741 are preserved in The Metropolitan Museum in New York and The Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight. As with the table the chairs were inspired by an English prototype but constructed in an entirely Chinese fashion.

Literature: Percy Macquoid, ‘English Furniture Tapestry and Needlework of the XVIth and XIX Centuries’, London, 1928, item 138, pl. 39;
Partridge Fine Arts, ‘English Furniture & Works of Art’, London, 2001, pp. 34/5.

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  • Provenance

    Private collection, New York.


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