Rare furniture from Ming era

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 November, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 November, 1994, 12:00am

RARE pieces of Ming Dynasty furniture are being exhibited at Art Asia by Grace Wu Bruce Company Ltd.

'We have joined Art Asia because, this year, it is featuring antiques along with contemporary art. For the first time, Hong Kong will see our collection on such a large scale. So far, we have only dealt with private collectors and dealers from around the world,' Grace Wu, director of Grace Wu Bruce Co., said.

'We are building our own booth, deriving inspiration from Suzhou garden houses. Part of the reason is that most of the furniture of the Ming Dynasty was made around that area. So, our modern recreation of that period should evoke the feeling of that time,' Ms Wu said.

'The selection we are bringing is predominantly made of huanghuali wood. It is a beautiful tropical hard wood, orange-yellow in colour, with wonderful grains and patterns. We will also bring zitan, another wood which is greatly treasured.

'Even though the golden era of Ming Dynasty furniture was in the 16th-17th century, the simplicity and classical lines can be related to modern 20th century furniture.' The special method that is used in joining pieces is what makes the Ming Dynasty furniture priceless. For example, joints are neither nailed nor glued.

The highlights of the collection are a carved huanghuali inverted table and incense stand from the Ming Dynasty in the 17th century, a simple huanghuali horse-shoe arm-chair and a zitan square table.

Among other Oriental antiques is a Chinese Imperial robe which was worn by Xuan Tong (Pu Yi), the last emperor of China at the beginning of this century. It will be shown by C. P. Ching, Hong Kong.

An imposing Japanese kesi wall hanging, presented by the Imperial household to Sterling Fisher in 1955 in recognition for his work on behalf of the Fulbright Foundation, will also be shown by C. P. Ching, Hong Kong.

Fred Lee Antiques and Ming Gallery are displaying their own collections.

Scrolls by Zhang Da Qian, Fu Baoshi and Qi Baishi are major attractions.

Vases from the Qian Long period, Kangxi ceramics and rare jade pieces from the Han Dynasty should prove crowd pullers in the antiques' section.

Da Po Chai Antiques will exhibit a splendid tri-colour horse. It is a sancai-glazed pottery horse of the Tang Dynasty.

Teresa Coleman will bring a range of Chinese antique robes and textiles.

Her rare collection of wall hangings have subtle colours with a magical quality which will attract many viewers.