Painted Sideboard with Lion and Tiger
Gansu, circa 1920
Chinese cabinets, particularly from western provinces such as Gansu and Qinghai, were often decorated with paintings of flora and fauna that were rich in symbolism. This unusal cabinet is a lovely example, with its vibrant, original paintings set against the black lacquer surface. The double central doors are beautifully painted in an autumnal palette of soft reds, yellows and greens, depicting a pair of pheasants to symbolise good fortune and chrysanthemums for longevity. The door to the left has a painting of a fierce looking tiger for protection and the door to the right a lion to represent power. Chinese lettering can also be seen on each door. The cabinet's feet are carved above and at the sides. This would make a charming accent piece that would add impact perhaps as a dining room sideboard or for storage in a living room, with a full width shelf inside.
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