Discover our collection of antique and newly made Chinese wedding cabinets
Chinese wedding cabinets were traditionally given in pairs as wedding presents to the bride and groom by their parents. Ranging in design from simple through to highly ornate, wedding cabinets would have provided the majority of storage for couples moving into their first home. Today Chinese wedding cabinets make beautiful storage solutions for modern interiors and can be used to house anything from TV and audio systems, through to dinnerware, bed linen, clothes and clutter.
Wedding cabinets combine style and tradition
Most antique Chinese wedding cabinets have one or two internal shelves and either one large drawer or two small drawers. These elegant pieces of furniture are often exquisitely beautiful, featuring highly decorative embellishments such as large brass handle plates, gilding or detailed painted designs. In addition, many are finished with a lustrous lacquered finish, usually in black, red or cream.
The history of Chinese wedding cupboards and cabinets
There’s a long and interesting history behind antique wedding cabinets as these beautiful objects were originally designed to provide a highly practical purpose to complement the unique architecture of traditional Chinese homes. The wardrobes we’re so familiar with today are an entirely Western invention so it was necessary for craftsmen to create something new and innovative for Chinese interiors.
In China clothes are stored carefully folded flat inside a cabinet or chest, rather than being hung up inside a wardrobe as we do. As a result, Chinese wedding cabinets needed to be able to house folded or carefully laid-out garments. Originally made with practicability and utility in mind, the incredible artistry and craftsmanship which we see in many antique wedding cabinets is simply an added bonus.
Over time, the beauty and elegance of wedding cabinets became widely appreciated, with pieces produced by the very finest master craftsmen. Their purpose began to evolve slightly too and wedding cabinets started for serve a decorative purpose, forming important solutions for the protection and storage of costly dynastic robes. The result is some of the exceptionally beautiful antique pieces we sometimes see today.
As the popularity of wedding cabinets grew, traditional craftsmen began to diversify by creating a wider range of designs, including cabinets which could not only serve their original purpose but could be used for more general purposes too. Wedding cabinets now became the main storage facility within most homes, providing a practical way to store household detritus such as cooking pots, food, utensils, writing implements and books, whilst becoming even more beautiful and varied in design as time went by.
Chinese wedding cabinets in contemporary interiors
Chinese wedding cabinets are still used in the same way today as much-loved ornamental yet practical pieces of furniture which are often a work of art in their own right. Offering a stunning way to embellish and enhance contemporary living spaces, they continue to provide that all-important storage that we always seem to lack!
Including a Chinese wedding cabinet in your home is the perfect way to add a touch of unique style and traditional elegance. Making antique Chinese furniture a part of your life offers a practical yet beautiful solution to storage as wedding cabinets are ideal for use as display cabinets, kitchen cabinets, storage cabinets or a place in which to hide the TV.
Thanks to the huge range of styles and designs available, finding the perfect Chinese wedding cabinet for your home should be easy. Here at Shimu our ever-changing collection includes everything from highly decorated antique cabinets with painted cabinet doors and lacquered finishes, through to chest cabinets in simple rustic styles. In addition, we also offer a range of superb quality newly made wedding cabinet-style cupboards, ideal for any room in the house.
How are wedding cupboards and cabinets made?
Chinese wedding cabinets are made from solid wood such as Northern Elm or ‘Yumu’ in Chinese. Yumu, although technically a hardwood according to Western definition, is actually classed as a softwood in China because it’s porous nature is able to hold a coloured lacquer. An additional benefit of Yumu and other woods used in traditional Chinese carpentry is that they are able to withstand the humid weather conditions and fluctuation temperatures associated with China.
Another feature of antique Chinese furniture is that the glues and nails used in Western furniture making are ineffective in humid conditions and as such they aren’t found in traditional oriental craftsmanship. Instead, special joinery techniques were developed which relied upon complex joints designed to attach the parts of each piece together, a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. The end result of such skill and innovation are beautiful pieces of furniture which are just as strong and durable as they are elegant.
Buy Chinese wedding cabinets from Shimu
At Shimu we offer a wide and ever-changing collection of unique Chinese antique furniture pieces, imported by us directly from China. Each piece has been carefully selected for its original beauty and charm. If we don’t have exactly what you’re looking for, please don’t hesitate to get in touch as we’ll aim to find the perfect piece of furniture for you. In addition, we also have a collection of high-quality new furniture designed to replicate original Chinese styles.
Our antique and new furniture is available to order online for UK-wide delivery through our secure website, or why not visit our spacious showroom in Albion Mills, Greengates, West Yorkshire?
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