Painted Red Qinghai Sideboard
Qinghai, circa 1880
This stunning sideboard is from the far western Chinese province of Qinghai and made from poplar wood. Produced around a hundred years ago, it still has the original deep red lacquer finish, with contrasting painted cream panels on the doors. The paintings depict flowers, including pink peonies, and mountain landscapes and there is an inscription on the right hand panel. The thick, chunky frames are typical of furniture from Qinghai and neighbouring Gansu province, designed to withstand harsh climates. Originally this cabinet is likely to have been used for storing grain or other foodstuffs, accessed via removable boards in the top. The doors are therefore a more recent addition, fitted by opening up the original fixed front panels and with ring handles added. The effect of the large square painted doors framed in black and fitted against the deep red lacquer frames is very striking, and this would make a wonderful, bold statement piece as a dining room sideboard or storage unit.
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