Chinese Elm Tapered Armoire
Shanxi, circa 1820
This tall, elegant cabinet is from Shanxi and made from elm wood, still with the original black lacquer finish, now worn to a dark grey. It dates from the early 19th century and still has its old iron hardware on the doors. It is in the classic 'round cornered' style that was particular to China, with an extended top sitting over rounded frames that taper up from the bottom. The doors are mounted with wooden dowels that slot into the top and bottom frames - a simple, ingenious design that gives a very pure, sleek look. The lacquer has worn so that the grain of the elm wood is visible underneath and there are various chips and marks that are in keeping with its age. The interior is in a dark reddish brown, again the original colour, with a fixed shelf holding two drawers and two further removable shelves.
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