Painted Qinghai Blanket Trunk
Qinghai, circa 1880
The lacquer and paintings on this large trunk are all old, now worn in parts to show the wood beneath, particularly around the base. The trunk is from Qinghai in western China, where it would have been used for storing clothes and fabrics. The upper front is split into two panels, each framed in black lacquer with simple paintings of flowers at each corner. The panels are in red, each beautifully decorated with detailed paintings of flower vases and other artefacts that donated the high rank and status of the owner. Below these two main paintings are three smaller panels decorated with flowers, and a carved base. The trunk is in a highly original condition, left in a matt finish rather than being revarnished, and would make an unusual side table next to a sofa or bed, with plenty of storage space inside.