Antique Side Cabinet in Black Lacquer
Shanxi, circa 1850
This wonderful cabinet in elm oozes character, with the original black lacquer and now faded paintings all still in place. It comes from Shanxi in north central China - a region that fared better than most in terms of holding on to antique furniture through the trials and tribulations of China's recent history. The lacquer has a lovely crackled look and is worn around the frame, upper lid and on parts of the doors, to give a wonderful patina. Unusually, the cabinet also has its original door hardware. Once brightly decorated with paintings on the doors and lower apron, the colours have faded and worn over time but it still possible to make out details in blues, greens and reds, including what appears to be a Chinese peacock on the right hand door. It is rare nowadays to find a cabinet like this in such well preserved, original condition.