16th Century, Elm, Shanxi. Thick dark lacquer mixed with fibers and “inverted sword leg” style characterize its Ming origin: great condition; all-original.
33½” h. 39” w. 19¾” d.
A wine table was essential for most social gatherings and can be traced to the Song (960-1279) period. This wine table is traditionally styled with lyrical lines and classical proportions. It is of the “inserted shoulder-joint” construction in which the leg joins the apron with a flush mitered joint. The top frame is joined with standard mitered, mortise-and-tenon joints, and has wide flat drip-edge molding with double beaded steps at the bottom. This top is supported by three transverse braces underneath, with two of them having long tenons penetrating to the sides of the top panel.
The top panel overhangs a narrow recessed waist, with the long front and back aprons projecting beyond the corners, joining the side aprons in a bracket shape with end-frame ties. These long aprons show a lyrical curvilinear profile while the end ones are straight and attached to the frame with iron nails. The legs join the aprons in an “inverted sword leg” style and has long tenons penetrating to the surface of the top panel. Each leg ends in a modified inverted ruyi-shaped foot. Double side stretchers connecting the legs add support and decorative elements to the table.
This table shows the original thick reddish-brown lacquer mixed with a fine fibrous ingredient which with age faded at some areas of the apron, exposing bare wood underneath. This kind of lacquer application, together with the style and construction, characterize the table as of Ming origin. The wear on the table also testifies to its antiquity. As the front and back of the table mirror each other, this beautiful table can be placed in the middle of a room on special occasions..