Painted Black Blanket Chest
Shanxi, circa 1900
This old blanket trunk would once have been owned by an opera troupe in Shanxi province, used to store their costumes and props as they toured the towns and villages. Trunks like this one were normally finished in black lacquer and brightly painted either with flowers as in this case, or with characters and scenes from the operas that would be performed. The paintings on the front of this trunk have faded and softened to more pastel shades, but are still clear. The central section includes various flowers inside a square frame, with further flowers surrounding it. A simple brass clasp at the front allows the lid to be secured. Perfect next to a sofa or bed, with plenty of useful storage inside.
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