17th 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 ending with sharp beading at the bottom. The frame is supported underneath by three traverse braces.
The top panel overhangs a narrow recessed waist and aprons somewhat greater than usual due to the style of the end aprons, which are projected beyond the corners, joining the longer front and back aprons in a bracket shape with end-frame ties. The front and back aprons show a very attractive curvilinear profile while the end ones are straight. The legs join the aprons in an “inverted sword leg” style. The end of each “sword’ has a long tenon which pierces through the waist to the top panel with the tenon end showing. Double incense stick beading raised in relief runs along the center of each leg, which ends in ruyi-shaped foot. Double side stretchers connecting the legs add support and decorative elements to the table.
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.