Carved Shanxi Cabinet
Shanxi, circa 1860
This gorgeous cabinet in a now worn black and red lacquer is from Shanxi in central China. The lacquer is original, as is the simple hardware on the doors. The finish is considerably worn in places, especially on the top surface and around the bottom of the doors, the black lacquer also cracked in places to give a beautiful patina. The solid, thick framed construction of the cabinet is softened by the delicately carved spandrels at each side, which taper down to the feet from the extended top surface in a familiar 'butterfly' front profile. The doors are fitted with wooden dowels that slot into wooden sockets rather than with brass hardware, adding to the clean, beautifully balanced design. The fronts of the two upper drawers are set in moulded frames and fitted with simple brass ring handles. The cabinet has a single shelf inside.