Million dollar Ming

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China’s Ming dynasty existed from the 1368–1644, a period during which some extraordinary furniture was made. Chairs, beds, cabinets and tables featured advanced joinery techniques and were made from some of the finest old growth wood that furniture makers may ever see. The Ming aesthetic has been described as minimalist and refined.

The table shown here sold at Beijing Poly International Auction on December 5, 2021 for RMB 115 million or around $25 million Australian dollars. The Value reports that it was part of a lot that sold for around $48 million AUD. In 2013 the table sold at Christie’s New York for US$9 million.


Made of huanghuali (Chinese rosewood) the tabletop measures over 4.5 metres long and is 80–90mm thick. Its impressive dimensions suggest an equally grand purpose. The exploded image reveals the table’s demountable construction.

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