A Unique Pair of Chinese Qianlong Period Huanghuali Bureau Cabinets

China | c. 1750

Each rectangular moulded and dentilated cornice above a pair of arched mirror doors with everted corners and leaf carved beaded surrounds enclosing adjustable shelves above 2 short drawers. The bureau with a fitted interior of 6 pigeon holes below shaped brackets flanked by 9 drawers, leading to 4 graduated drawers and raised on shaped bracket feet. Both the upper and lower section of the beautifully figured sides with original paktong carrying handles. The metal work original and paktong. One lock replaced. The mirrors replaced but antique.

Provenance: Private Collection, Barcelona. Purchased Christie’s London,
circa 1976.

It is probable that this true pair of cabinets are unique as we have been unable to find any other recorded examples.

Huanghuali (Dalbergia Odorifera) is indigenous to Hainan Island in the South China Sea, but large trees are no longer accessible. It ranges from light yellow to purplish red in colour and was the principal cabinet wood for fine furniture in the Ming and early Qing dynasties, at which time supplies became almost exhausted.

Height: 76” (193cm); Width: 47 ¼” (120cm); Depth: 22 ½” (57cm).

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