Five Drawer Elm Storage Chest
Shanxi, circa 1840
The black lacquer finish on this old coffer would once have been much deep and darker, but has worn over the years to a more mellow dark grey. The chest would have been used to store money and valuables. The three drawers at the bottom are a recent addition for practicality and would once have been fixed panels. The space behind them would have formed a 'secret' compartment, accessible only be removing the upper drawers. The upper drawers themselves are each decorated with a simple circular floral pattern where the handles are fitted, and can be secured by locking the iron handles onto a ring on the central frame.