Five Drawer Painted Chest
Shandong, circa 1920
Once lacquered in bright colours, this old chest has worn to leave a pared back, rustic look that would bring real character to any setting. The thick top extends over three upper drawers and two further, wider drawers below, providing useful storage space in addition to the large display surface for ornaments, photos and other objects. Unusually four of the drawers appear to have the old ring handles in place, whilst the fifth (the top right drawer) has a larger, long handle fitted. The colours and paintings on each of the drawer fronts are old, now largely faded on the bottom drawers in particular. The once vibrant colours are now worn and aged to softer pastels that blend nicely with the natural wood. The top surface shows the signs of many years of use, most likely as a table for displaying offerings to ancestors, leaving a lovely, textured patina. Today the chest would work well for storage in a living room bedroom, or as a dining room sideboard.
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