Painted Shanxi Book Cabinet
Shanxi, circa 1860
Beautifully decorated with paintings of flowers on the doors, this antique cabinet is in a style referred to by the Chinese as a book cabinet. In fact it would have originally been placed on top of a matching wardrobe sized unit to provide additional storage space for clothes and other possessions. The black lacquer, now crackled and worn in parts, is original and the old paintings have faded to softer autumnal shades from the once brighter colours. The style is quite local to Shanxi province, designed to show off the paintings that would have matched those on the larger unit. The doors themselves fit directly into the cabinet frames on wooden dowels, and sit over a thick wooden base. The small door hardware is also old. There is a removable shelf on the inside.
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