17th century Ming tielimu horseshoe armchair – which Grindley feels is of as high quality as any huanghuali example – will cost $30,000.

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London dealer in Chinese art Nicholas Grindley exhibits once again from March 30 to April 3 at the gallery of Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox at 17 East 76th Street. The focus of the exhibition is a selection of scholars' objects and a small group of furniture.

Among the objects are a bamboo libation cup in the form of a deer holding a lingzhi fungus, dating from the Kangxi period, and a bamboo root carving of an 18th century toad or frog.

Alongside brushes and brushpots are three gourd cricket cages for the transporting of fighting and singing crickets, each decorated with a different technique.

Mr Grindley challenges the generally held theory that all great Chinese furniture has to be made of huanghuali with the inclusion of three pieces in other timbers, a tielimu horseshoe armchair, a wumu and sitan sloping stile cupboard originally from the Piccus collection and an archaistic jichimu altar table of the Qianlong period.

Prices range from $1200 to around $100,000 for the stile cupboard.