Medium Shanxi Armoire, Antique Chinese
Shanxi, circa 1700
This beautifully proportioned cabinet is in superb condition given that it dates from around three hundred years ago. It is a wonderful example of the skill and techniques used by the craftsmen of Shanxi province in central China, where it was made. The dark finish over the elm wood, the circular hardware and even the interior shelf and lacquer are all original, making this a quite special antique. The style is in a classic 'round cornered' construction, with rounded frames gently tapering up into an extended frame and the doors mounted on wooden stiles that fit into the top and bottom. The apron at the bottom is still intact and includes open carvings of dragons. The inside of the cabinet includes a single fixed shelf with two drawers, with the inside of the doors finished in a now worn red lacquer. The back of the cabinet is also interesting, as it clearly shows remnants of the fabric that the carpenter would have used to bind the rear panel before applying lacquer over the top - a common technique used in Shanxi during the period the cabinet was made. This is a rare and unusual piece full of character and charm, sized to be versatile in a modern home for storage in a living room or bedroom.