Antique Chinese Apothecary Counter
Shanxi, circa 1860
This highly unusual sideboard would have been produced for use as a shop counter for a Chinese apothecary. Larger bottles and other items would have been stored in the lower section, while the herbs and plants used in Chinese medicine would have been placed in the six upper drawers. Each of these drawers is divided into six sections and labelled at the front to show the contents. The old labels are still clear, but have a time worn appearance that blends perfectly with the aged patina of the surrounding dark lacquer finish.
The sideboard is made from elm wood, with thick frames and top surface. Once also in a dark lacquer, the top has worn to a gorgeous blend of paler elm and darker lacquer sections, along with all the signs of its long life of service. Today it would work wonderfully as a highly unusual, characterful sideboard, with plenty of space on the lower shelf for crockery.
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