Elm Wood Side Cabinet
Beijing, circa 1860
This old elm side cabinet is from Beijing, the simple style and thick, solid construction being typical of everyday furniture from the capital - built to withstand the dramatic changes in climate. Originally it would have been finished in a dark, reddish lacquer and traces of this are still visible particularly on the cabinet's sides. However this has largely been stripped off to reveal the beautiful elm wood, with its attractive, wide grain. The cabinet has two drawers and two doors, which are separated by a central post that can be easily removed so that larger items can be placed inside. The thick, circular brass door plate and hinges are recent additions but in keeping with the original style.