Late Ming and Early Qing Dynasty Chinese Antique Furniture (Old Jichimu, Millettia Leucantha)

I have a Chinese Antique furniture with 1 tea table and 4 horseshoe back chairs – Old Jichimu, Millettia Leucantha, (Old Chicken-Wing Wood 老雞翅木). We met a professor of Phytology and Botany in last summer. Professional Fuwu Xing 邢福武教授 (Prof of South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences) told us that the wood of the furniture should be over 3 or 4 centuries. The Old Jichimu and annual rings impressed Professor Xing deeply. After detailed examination, Professor Xing issued me a certificate of this furniture. The wood of that furniture was approximately in 17th Centuries; between late Ming and early Qing Dynasty, and the tree was over 300 years old. Then he got that furniture verified and he felt happy to issue us a certification. This furniture had a mystery. When we sit on the chair, leaving the hands along the armrest, making a soft long low vocal “arrrrrrrrrrrrh” , we will feel vibrations of the chair like massaging your body. Professor Xing told us that the carpentry skill of that furniture was probably lost, finding one intact today was rare and it was undoubtedly valuable. I would like to know if this furniture was from late Ming Dynasty, where I could launch an auction for this antique and how much?


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December 20, 2023
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Dear Georgiana, Greetings and thank you for the submission of your 5-piece set of Chinese Round back (aka horseshoe back) chairs and matching table. The wood of the set is beautiful and the grain quite well matched to the design; a five-piece, matched suite is not often seen on the market. It is more common to find a pair of chairs. I should point out that most chairs and tables of this style are traditionally raised upon stretcher bars at the base which are not present in your example. Professor Xing had the benefit of examining the pieces face to face and I notice that it is mentioned that the crests may have been refinished, it is possible that due to damage of one or all pieces, the stretcher bars were removed as well. If this is the case, this would affect the overall value, but it is difficult to say by how much. While I cannot make a definitive date attribution without seeing the suite in person and feeling the wood, inspecting the joins, etc., the carving style and thickness of the design lead me to believe your suite was made in the Qing Dynasty. All that said, similar unaltered suites sell at auction in the range of $40,000USD - $60,000USD. You asked about the possibility of auctioning this set. Because this is a specialized niche, I recommend that you find a reputable auction house in Canada which has a reputation for selling Asian Art and offers competitive, global, online bidding. If you have any follow-up questions, please ask. Sincerely, Erin-Marie