A magnificent and rare Chinese huanghuali table is expected to see some of the highest bids in Christie's Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art auction, which will be held on March 22 as part of Asia Week New York.
The massive table, measuring over 4.5 metres in length, will be sold with a $1.5-2m estimate. A plank-top pedestal table, it originates from the 17th-18th century.
Huanghuali, its name translating as "yellow flowering pear wood", is one of the most treasured of all Asian woods and is now a protected species. As a result, furniture made from huanghuali is nearing extinction, with less than 10,000 pieces believed to exist in the world.
With the continued high demand for Chinese furniture, auction prices have soared, accounting for the high estimate given by Christie's.
Also starring in the sale is a finely cast ritual wine vessel and cover from the late Shang dynasty (12th-11th century BC).
Known as a fangyi, the finely cast bronze piece is a classic example of such works from the period, when Yinxu served as the capital of the Shang dynasty. It will be sold with an $800,000-1.2m estimate.
Christie's also expects strong results from an "extraordinarily unusual" yellow-ground blue and white vase, which bears the Qianlong (1736-1795) seal mark.
Valued at $300,000-500,000, the vase is decorated with a flaming pearl on each side, with a five-clawed dragon and a three-clawed dragon. There is only one other Qianlong vase that sports this combination of shape and decoration. It is currently housed in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, UK.
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