Painted Shanxi Opera Trunk
Shanxi, circa 1900
The once vibrant colours on this lovely blanket chest have faded over time to subtler pastels, but the paintings are still perfectly clear, showing pink lilies. In Chinese the characters for lily (bǎi hé) are phonetically similar to a proverb relating to long-lasting union, and so the flower is a symbol for a long-lasting, happy marriage. At either side and above the main painting are vases and more flowers in dark greens, pinks and creams. The trunk would have originally been made for a Chinese opera troupe to hold their props and costumes, and is a lovely example of this type of piece. Great as a bedside table, with plenty of handy storage inside.
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