The elegant, somewhat attenuated curve of the cabriole legs, simple shape of the cusped aprons, crisp beading of the edges, and the scroll-carved feet of this stool most likely indicate an early date of manufacture. The cabriole legs of later versions of this type of stool tend to be more curvaceous and the aprons more elaborate. Two such huanghuali stools are illustrated by Wang Shixiang in Connoisseurship of Chinese Furniture, Hong Kong, 1990, vol. II, p. 26, pls. A24 and A25. The legs of A24 are similar to those of the present stool, but the apron is more elaborate and joined to the humpbacked stretchers by vertical braces that, according to the author, are “neither decorative or functional.” The legs of A25 have a more exaggerated curve and are supported by “giant arm braces”, giving the stool a somewhat more squat appearance. A pair of similar huanghuali stools, also dated to the 17th century, in the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Robert P. Piccus, was sold at Christie’s New York, 18 September 1997, lot 44. Although of comparable size, the legs and stretchers appear to be slightly thicker and heavier than the more slender members of the Flacks stool.
Musée Guimet, Paris, Ming: The Golden Age of Chinese Furniture, 19 March – 14 July 2003, pp. 92-93, no. 18.
Yong Shou Gong, Palace Museum, Beijing, Ming Furniture in the Forbidden City: Lu Ming Shi Collection, 28 April – 15 June, 2006, pp. 142-43, no. 35.
Wang Shixiang, Ming Shi Jia Ju Zhen Shang (Appreciation of Ming Style Furniture), Beijing, 1985,
p. 63, pl. 17.
Wang Shixiang, Classic Chinese Furniture, Hong Kong, 1986, p. 63, pl. 17.
Wang Shixiang, Connoisseurship of Chinese Furniture, Hong Kong, 1990, vol. II, p. 24, pl. A23, and vol. I, p. 31 (text).
Beijing Hardwood Furniture Factory.
Philippe De Backer (Lu Ming Shi Collection).