Antique Shanxi Double Cabinet
Shanxi, circa 1860
This old sideboard in black lacquer would once have been brightly decorated with its scenes from Chinese legend. The detailed paintings of figures in traditional dress set against a background of bridges and pagodas have faded and darkened over time. Today they are still visible but quite subtle set against the dark lacquer surface of the doors. The sideboard's frames incorporate stylised dragons, whilst the apron at the bottom shows now worn paintings of flowers. The cabinet is in a wonderfully original condition, with the lacquer now worn and crackled in places to show the wood below. The old door hardware is also still in place. The two removable shelves inside seem to be the only more recent addition. In a 'double cabinet' style that is typical of furniture from Shanxi province, it would provide characterful storage today in any room.