Carved Shandong Storage Coffer
Shandong, circa 1900
This old storage chest is from the northeast Chinese province of Shandong, and is quite typical of the robust, thick framed furniture that was produced in the region. Wide legs fit directly into an overhanding top surface, with decorative carved spandrels tapering down towards the feet and a similarly decorative apron. The spandrels give a sense of fluidity and movement, adding elegance to a fairly functional item. Originally the chest would have been used as a coffer for storing money, documents or other valuables. The two large drawers would be removed to give access to the space below them, and originally would almost certainly have been secured with metal hardware fitted to the central frame between them. The chest is still in its original finish, now worn to a lovely patina particularly on the top surface, with signs of many years of use. The drawer handles are also old, set on moulded floral rosettes. A beautiful piece in highly original condition.
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