Ming Wine Table


16th C, Elm, Shanxi. Thick black lacquer mixed with fibers and “inverted sword leg” style characterize its Ming origin.
33½” h. 39” w. 19¾” d.

This wine table is traditionally constructed with a classical profile.  It has the recessed-leg style, with  the top frame joined with standard mitered, mortise-and-tenon joints, and shaped with a drip-edge molding.  The edge is molded to a rounded profile with sharp beading at the bottom.  The frame is supported by three traverse braces.

Recessed below the top is a narrow waist from which the all-around apron joins the legs in an “inverted sword leg” style.  The end of the sword pierces through the waist to the panel top with tenons showing.  The apron has a pleasing curvilinear profile.  The front and back sides of the table have aprons slightly rounded while the end ones are straight and attached to the frame with iron nails.  The straight legs have double side stretchers, with each leg ends with attractive inverted ruyi foot.

The table shows patches of the original thick black lacquer applied over a thin ground mixed with fibers. This kind of lacquer application, together with the style and construction, characterize it as of Ming origin. The wear on the table also testifies to its antiquity.