Gugong Museum: GUGONG BOWUYUAN CANG QIZUO. The Collection of Stands in the Palace Museum. Beijing, 2016. 299, 303, 301, 271, 325 pp. Full page colour plates throughout each volume. 5 vols. 28x22 cm. Wrappers.
A large five-volume compilation on an aspect of Chinese art that is, quite literally, much overlooked - that of carved wooden stands to hold and display exquisite art objects. These stands come from, and used to bear, the ultimate collection - that of the former imperial collection of the Chinese Emperors held in the Forbidden City in Beijing. Whilst many of the stands are shown in isolation, which allows full appreciation of the fine workmanship and carving, a number of the stands are first shown themselves and then bearing the piece of imperial art they were made to support, mostly superb jades but also examples of ceramics, cloisonne etc. Practically all the stands date from the Qing dynasty.
This work, in addition to being a fine reference on Chinese carving, puts imperial art in its true context as to how to be viewed and appreciated. It is strongly evident that much thought, consideration and top-quality craftsmanship was put into the concept and realisation of these stands. All five volumes illustrated throughout in colour. Introduction, lists of contents to each volume and captions to plates in English. Main text in Chinese. Hard to obtain.
Item 55 in List 203.
Record produced by Hanshan Tang Books, www.hanshan.com.