Black Lacquer Painted Book Cabinet
Shanxi, circa 1900
This type of cabinet is usually referred to as a 'Book Cabinet' and would originally have been placed on top of a larger armoire to provide extra storage space. It was made in Shanxi province and the finish, paintings and hardware are all old. Each door is decorated with paintings of flowers - the colours softened over the years, whilst the surrounding frame shows a continuous pattern of flowers and butterflies. The thick, solid base of the cabinet includes some simple relief carving. The thick black lacquer has worn and crackled in parts to leave a beautiful patina. This type of item with the original paintings and hardware is difficult to come by these days and, with a single shelf inside, this would make a wonderful TV stand or storage cabinet in a living room.