Cream Lacquer Apothecary Chest
Shanxi, circa 1850
This beautiful medicine chest in cream lacquer is from Shanxi province and still has its original finish, including the drawer labels and drawer handles. Once used by an apothecary to hold the herbs and remedies used in Chinese medicine, it is a lovely example of this type of piece and would make an interesting addition to any modern room setting. The thirty small drawers and three larger drawers at the bottom are each split into sections with wooden dividers and each labelled on the front to indicate the various remedies that would have been held inside. Antique herbalist chests like this are becoming more and more difficult to come by and this one, with its now worn and crackled cream lacquer finish and red characters, is particularly special.