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Asian Antiquities for Sale

Sheila Gibson Stoodley

Chinese huanghuali furniture, named for the imported, golden-hued hardwood from which it was made, was designed to encourage peaceful contemplation. Scholars and gentlemen of the 16th and 17th centuries used the simply decorated, unpainted and unstained furnishings to foster the mind-set needed for writing poetry and considering lofty ideas. Later, Western collectors fell in love with huanghualipieces, too. “It goes well with all sorts of things,” says Philip Constantinidi, a director at London art dealer Eskenazi. “I think that’s why people like it.”

From November 3 to November 25, Eskenazi, will show a collection of 14 huanghuali chairs, stools, tables, and cabinets—a rare bounty that is only becoming rarer as more and more Chinese collectors pursue Chinese art and antiques. All date to the late Ming and early Qing periods (1600–1700), and all are available for purchase. They include a 6-foot-tall round-corner cabinet and a pair of 3-foot-tall side tables, both priced in the six figures. (www.eskenazi.co.uk)

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