Elm Five Drawer Chest
Shanxi, circa 1880
This simple chest of drawers is made from elm wood, the original reddish brown finish still in place but worn to a lovely crackled patina on the front and showing the more natural colour of the wood around the top surface. The top extends over thick frames that continue down to form the legs, supported by a single stretcher at each side. This is quite an unusual item in that drawers were not common in China, with clothes and other items normally stored in cabinets or trunks. The five deep drawers here provide plenty of storage space as a sideboard or in a bedroom, each fitted with the old, simple ring handles.
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