Gansu Painted Grain Cabinet
Gansu, circa 1900
This sideboard is quite typical of the grain chests that were used in the eastern part of Gansu province, but the paintings and contrasting black and red lacquers make this one a particularly nice example. It dates from the start of the 20th century and today would make a highly attractive dining sideboard or storage unit. When it was first made the front panels would have been fixed, with the inside of the chest accessed through removable wooden boards in the top. These have been sealed and the front panels converted into doors. The removable shelves inside have also been added recently. The lacquer and paintings are all original, the paintings showing various figures dressed in colourful silks, including one apparently pleading not to receive a flogging!