A red lacquered low side table with everted flanges, qiaotou’an

明   紅漆翹頭案

The table is of low rectangular form with a stout single plank top terminating in everted flanges with scrolled tips, above a plain apron with cloud-head spandrels. The legs are formed from solid panels, each pierced with a shaped aperture and with a bracketed lower edge, resting on transverse stretchers. The exterior and sides of the table are applied with a rich red lacquer coating of pinkish tone. The underside of the table is lacquered black.

Tables like the present one, with everted flanges, are known from earliest times. For an example of a small Spring and Autumn period (772-481 BC) table, excavated from a tomb in Hubei, see Sarah Handler, “Side Tables, a Surface for Treasures and the Gods” in Chinese Furniture, Selected Articles from Orientations 1984-2003, p. 200. The author notes that side tables, often placed against a wall, were used for displaying treasured possessions or, less frequently than is often supposed, as altar tables.

A related table from the Biegucang collection, lacking the everted flanges and of more geometric design, was sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 8th April 2009, lot 1621. For a black lacquered table from the Shanxi region with a comparable profile, dated to the fifteenth or sixteenth century, see 大漆家具 Classical Chinese Lacquered Furniture, no. 29, p. 166-167.


Dimensions: Length: 137 cm, 54 inches Width: 48.2 cm, 19 inches Height: 40.6 cm, 16 inches

Date: Ming dynasty (1368-1644)

Stock No. 1730

Price: On Request