Antique Mongolian Painted Trunk
Mongolia, circa 1850
This wonderful painted trunk is from Mongolia, where it would have been used for storing clothes and bedding. Original Mongolian furniture like this is becoming more and more rare so it is very unusual to find a piece in such fine condition - particularly a chest in such large proportions. The finish and painted designs of flowers on the front panels and drawers are all original and are in a palette that is typical of Mongolian furniture - the greens, reds and pinks now softened over time from their original brighter colours.The three front panels and lower drawers are each set in a moulded black lacquer frame, contrasting with the main red lacquer surface. The paintings themselves show wild flowers, birds and butterflies, while each panel also has an inscription - messages of good luck for the owner of the trunk. The large, domed lid is strengthened with shaped brass braces and corner supports, and is hinged at the back on wooden dowels - a more traditional, rudimentary method than metal hinges. The font apron at the bottom of the trunk is nicely carved, while the jagged moulded frame in green and orange around the front of the trunk gives the piece even more character. This is very much a one off, unique chest that would be the focus of any room in a modern home, and at over five foot wide and nearly four foot high it offers a huge amount of storage space.