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Subject:Huanghuali coffer table - Age?
Posted By: Tim G Sat, Oct 21, 2017 IP:


I bought this large huanghuali coffer table. I'm interested in thoughts on the age of the piece.

I was told the piece was purchased as an antique in Hong Kong in the 1970's, but I realize how unreliable that kind of information can be.

The table shows age, some sun fading of the top, water marks, etc., so it certainly has age.

A similar coffer was offered by Sotheby's -

There's is listed as Qing, but that seems a rather broad span of time.

The Sotheby's example has simple ruyi form spandrels, while mine has a more ornate pierced peony flower design that I believe is more typical of late Ming/early Qing.

I would appreciate any feedback. Unfortunately, I can not take more photos as I won't be up to pick up the table from storage for a month or two.


Subject:Re: Huanghuali coffer table - Age?
Posted By: mikeoz Sun, Oct 22, 2017

Has this piece been resurfaced? Sanded back and polished. It doesn't seem to have any antique patina at all.

Subject:Re: Huanghuali coffer table - Age?
Posted By: TimG Tue, Oct 24, 2017

I didn't have much time to inspect it after buying it...stuck it in storage then jumped on a plane home.

Top looks sun bleached. You can see the lighter color of the wood on the top and drawers as compared to the lower doors. I'm hoping that a bit of teak oil will help the original color come to the surface.

If it was resurfaced/sanded, it was done prior to 1970. The Christie's listing I referenced in the original post, according to the condition report, was made from old wood that was re-purposed. So, I suppose it is completely possible that the wood was sanded/planed, then reconstructed into a coffer table.

The hardware doesn't look all that old to me, either. But, perhaps new hardware was added to an old piece. | Associations | Articles | Exhibitions | Galleries |