Painted Chinese Opera Chest
Shanxi, circa 1900
The paintings on the front of this old trunk are beautifully detailed, with a central framed scene of characters from a Chinese opera and flowers and long life symbols surrounding it. The trunk was originally used by an opera troupe to hold props and costumes for their shows as they travelled from town to town. The paintings on the front acted as a bright advert for their performance. The trunk is made from 'wutong' wood and is from Shanxi province in central China. While the colours have faded and aged, the details of the three women shown on the front, down to the expressions on their faces, are still clear. Note also the little 'kang' table to the left!
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