Black Lacquer Wedding Cabinet
Shanxi, circa 1880
This beautiful cabinet was made in the city of Linfen, located in the southwest of Shanxi province. It would have formed part of a bride's wedding dowry, presented along with its contents of silks, fabrics and other gifts.The old paintings are still clear, though now less bright against the black lacquer background. On the doors they show various figures against a landscape of hills and trees. The apron shows valued possessions, including a central bronze, whilst the cabinet frames are decorated with stylized dragons and long life symbols. The doors are mounted directly into the cabinet frames without metal hinges, leaving a large canvas for the wonderful paintings. There are two removable shelves inside, as well as a removable board that hides a lower compartment.