The ji is a long table without upturned ends (such as the more common altar table). Ji's are normally found as small and low tables. The tall ones such as this one are rarer. This one is even more unusual due to the use of solid huanghuali wood (belonging to the family of rosewood), which was very expensive even in the 17-18th centuries, late Ming to early Ch'ing (Qing Ji's were normally made with other woods, such as ironwood). This one dates from mid-Ch'ing (Qing), about 1800.
58" long, 39" high and 14.5" deep. Solid wood about 2" thick. Very good condition structurally sound. This table has been extensively used over the years with the scrolls being pulled over the sides. We can see the wear indentations on the long edges. It is more pronounced on the left side where the scrolls tend to be draped for a right handed person.
This antique table with its graceful form is as much at home in a traditional oriental setting as in a contemporary decor.
----------Notes. ----------- Ji tables are very desirable for the scholar because they are versatile in being used from any direction while writing scrolls... you can lay the scroll the long way or drape it the short way, leaving the other side of the table for writing implements. This table has be extensively used over the years from the scrolls being pulled over the sides. We can see the wear indentations on the long edges. How many years does it take for paper to wear this hardwood!
A word about the form... This is the simplest form, yet very gracious as well as multi-functional. The "moon windows" on the sides help balance the table visually as well as functionally. The heavy scroll feet also, adding visual and physical balance. Quite often, the feet are damaged due to dampness, and are cut off. These feet are complete, with the original huanghuali.
Original Chinese antique furniture were all held together by their compound joinery which naturally distribute the load. The joints were held in place by small wedges and rectangular dowels. Once the load is applied, friction and gravity lock the joints together. No nails or glues were necessary. This table does have 2 nails holding the rounded corner supports (at the top inside). These were probably used early in the 20th century. Otherwise, there are no nails.