Painted Three Drawer Coffer
Gansu, circa 1880
This old black lacquer coffer would originally have been used to store money and valuables. A brass plate, long since removed, would once have been used to secure the three drawers at the top, whilst the area below the drawers behind the lower panel, provided a further 'secret' compartment accessible only by removing the bottom drawer. The coffer is from Gansu in western China - the decorative paintings of flowers towards the bottom and the chunky, shaped feet being typical of furniture from the region. The paintings are original, showing flowers and a butterfly, and include an inscription to the left - possibly a wish for good luck or prosperity to the owner. A beautiful and now quite unusual piece that could be used as a side table or for bedroom storage.