Document Chest on Stand
Shanxi, circa 1890
This unusual chest is of a type used at the end of the Qing dynasty, normally for holding valuables or documents. It is mounted on a separate stand and still in its original finish. The Chinese characters on the two red vertical strips on the front refer to the chest's original contents. On the left it mentions that the box holds white jade and jade beads, while on the right it describes the gold lock that would have been used on the outside to secure it. The central circular motif shows various valuables - possibly examples of the jade pieces once stored inside. A removable half board on the top opens up to the inside, with a simple brass clasp fitted at the front that the gold lock would have been fitted to. The old black lacquer finish has survived well, but is largely worn on the top to the elm wood.
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