Antique Chinese Cabinets

Chinese Cabinet UK

Antique Chinese cabinets combine beauty and practicality

Storage cabinets are incredibly useful pieces of furniture; offering somewhere to store unsightly clutter so it’s out of sight and easy to find. Just because they’re practical doesn’t mean they can’t be beautiful too and with this in mind, an antique Chinese cabinet could be the perfect addition to your home.


Chinese wedding cabinets

At Shimu we offer a wide and ever-changing range of antique Chinese furniture, including storage cabinets. Chinese antique cabinets come in all shapes and sizes, offering a choice of elegant options, ideal for almost any room in the house. Cabinets have had an important place in Chinese homes for many centuries and would have been used to store everything from clothing, bedding and textiles, through to books, medicines, cooking utensils and food. As such, antique pieces are ideal for a whole host of uses, making them just as practical in our contemporary interiors as they would have been in the Chinese homes of the past.

Chinese antique cabinets

The perfect Chinese storage cabinet for your home

As already mentioned, storage cabinets have been a much-loved feature of Chinese homes for many hundreds of years. These treasured pieces of furniture would have been lovingly cared for and passed down through the generations. As a result, we’re now lucky enough to a have a wide range of beautiful antique pieces in superb condition to choose from.

Antique Chinese storage cabinets range in design from the highly ornate through to simple rustic pieces. Classically simple cabinets are unadorned with the painted designs you often see on the outside of elaborate pieces. However, lacquer was often used to give elm wood - a popular choice in Chinese furniture making - a rich, glossy finish. Although lacquer fades over time, the unique patina it leaves on antique lacquered cabinets ensures these beautiful pieces of furniture look as beautiful today as the day they were made.

Even if you only have a superficial knowledge of oriental antiques, the chances are that you’ve heard of Chinese wedding cabinets. Wedding cabinets were given as gifts to a bride and groom by their parents and would have been seen as important, valuable heirlooms. Chinese wedding cabinets tend to have double doors, finished in a rich red or occasionally black lacquer and adorned with paintings that are rich in symbolism. In Chinese homes wedding cabinets would have been used to store folded clothing placed on the internal shelves, rather than hung from rails as in the Western tradition. Today, wedding cabinets are sought after antiques ranging from simple rustic pieces, through to lacquered painted cabinets featuring ornate brass locks and hardware.

Newly made Chinese cabinets

Apothecary Chests


Apothecary chests would have originally been used to store the herbs, remedies and roots traditionally used in Chinese medicine. Featuring numerous small drawers - the number of drawers varies from chest to chest - it’s not uncommon to find antique apothecary chests which still show the original Chinese draw labels, painted in Chinese characters. Apothecary chests can, of course, still be be used to store herbs and medicines; however the numerous drawers are ideal for keeping small items of clothing organised, craft supplies, spices or kitchen items.

Chinese cabinets are also perfect for use as display cabinets, with their broad tops ideal for showcasing treasured items, photos or ornaments. Equally at home in the dining room, living room, hallway or bedroom, these beautiful pieces of furniture offer versatile storage that’s perfect for our contemporary interiors.


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