Beijing Elm Money Chest
Beijing, circa 1900
This sturdy wooden cabinet was originally designed as a chest for storing money and valuables. It has a narrow set of doors in the bottom half, with two removable half boards in the top that give access to the upper compartments. Each of these sections could have been locked to secure the valuable contents inside. The chest is from Beijing and the solid, simple style is typical of furniture from China's capital. Made from elm, the chest would have been lacquered when it was first made, but the original finish has been stripped off to show the natural, pale wood colour underneath. The old hardware has been replaced with brass plates and clasps in keeping with the original design. The central post between the doors is removable so that larger objects can be placed inside. Great today as an unusual little sideboard or storage cabinet.