Pair of Antique Tibetan Painted Cabinets

product code: ACW-BH-2205174
D45 x H95 x W126 x cm

Tibet, circa 1900

These stunning cabinets were produced in Tibet around the beginning of the twentieth century. Like most Tibetan furniture, they are made from pine, beautifully painted in a typical palette of greens, yellows, blues and oranges. The colours would once have been brighter, but have now mellowed to softer, autumnal hues. Cabinets like these were often produced in pairs, and would have been used to store ceremonial robes, important scrolls and documents or even the yak butter that was used in lamps.

As was customary, the paintings here include several religious symbols that are important in Buddhism. The green frames that surround each of the six painted panels are carved to resemble bamboo. Revered for its strength and flexibility, bamboo is associated with enlightenment, which similarly requires great persistence and adaptability to acheive. The six panels themselves each show a lotus flower set in the middle of a floral shaped outline. The lotus is a symbol for the Buddha's awakening and of purity - a reminder that all beings are able to attain enlightenment.

Above each lotus flower on the upper panels of each cabinet is a separate, individual symbol. The first cabinet shows an elephant to the top right - one of the most important symbols in Buddhism and a sign of strength, honour and wisdom. The white elephant in particular is also associated with divinity and peace. Next to this in the centre is a mythical 'Wind Horse', a symbol often seen on Tibetan prayer flags to transport prayers to the heavens and also believed to bring good fortune. Finally, to the left is a dharma wheel, one of the oldest of Buddhist symbols. This represents the process of death and rebirth and the eventual release from this endless cycle through enlightenment.

On the second cabinet the three upper panels show the 'Buddhas of the three times' (past, present and future), each holding a fruit. These are most likely a peach, pomegranate and lemon, known as the 'three fruits of blessings' and representing happiness, longevity and wealth.

On each cabinet two of the outer panels are fixed (to the left and right side respectively), while the others open as doors to give access to the whole of the inside. A single shelf sits half way up. The top of each cabinet is in the original black finish - now worn over the rustic pine wood to give a wonderful, aged patina. The rear of each unit is in thick, chunky pine, finished in a dark wood stain. Typically, the cabinets are quite basic in their construction but are beautifully decorated. It is now rare to find Tibetan furniture in its original condition and still with the old paintings, particularly a matching pair like these. They would bring real colour, history and character to any interior.

Sold together as a pair, the price shown is for the two cabinets.

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Large Furniture (to room of choice) £45 for UK mainland delivery 2-3 weeks
Large Furniture (unpack & remove packaging) £55 for UK mainland delivery 2-3 weeks
Small Furniture (to room of choice) £35 for UK mainland delivery 2-3 weeks
Small Furniture (unpack & remove packaging) £45 for UK mainland delivery 2-3 weeks
Small Items and Accessories £7.50 for UK mainland delivery 3-7 days
Extra Small Items £4.50 for standard UK delivery 3-7 days
Same Day or Express Delivery Price available on request 1-7 days
Deliveries outside the UK Price available on request

Our delivery charges are based on weight and size and will be calculated before you confirm you order. We will only charge up to a maximum of £45 (or £55 if you require the items to be unpacked) for a standard UK weekday delivery. For example, if your order contains a large furniture item and two small items, the delivery charge to room of choice will be £45 for a weekday delivery.

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We regularly arrange delivery of both furniture and smaller items to customers outside the UK. Our shipping partners can arrange a door to door delivery to your home in most parts of Europe, the USA and other locations. If you are ordering online from outside the UK then the 'overseas delivery' option will be applied automatically at checkout. We will then contact you to confirm the shipping charge before processing your payment. Alternatively, please contact us at with your full address and details of any items you wish to order. We can then confirm the shipping charges before you complete your purchase.

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Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that there is sufficient access to deliver any products you have ordered. Our delivery team will make every reasonable effort to deliver your furniture into a room you specify but cannot be held responsible if a particular piece will not fit, or for damage caused due to insufficient access. In particular, please consider any staircases or tight spaces which the product will have to fit through.

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If you have any queries regarding delivery please contact us on 0800 088 6800 (+44 1274 610961 from outside the UK) or email We are open from 9.30am to 5.30pm Monday - Friday and 10.00am - 4.00pm on Saturday.



At Shimu we want you to be delighted with any item you buy from us. For this reason we offer a returns policy that gives you complete peace of mind. If for any reason you are unhappy with your purchase when it arrives, you can simply ask our delivery driver to return the item to our warehouse. We will then either replace it for you or provide you with a full refund exluding any delivery charge.

We also provide you with a 14 day cooling off period. Simply inform us within 14 days of the item being delivered that you wish to cancel the order. We will then arrange for the item to be picked up and returned to us and will provide you with a credit for other Shimu products or a full refund excluding the cost of return. All that we ask is that the item is returned to us in an unused condition and in its original packaging. For full details see our terms and conditions.

Our furniture is extremely well packed for shipping but in the rare event that the goods you receive arrive damaged please contact us as soon as possible on 0800 088 6800 (01274 610961 from a mobile) or by email at We will arrange to either have the item repaired if appropriate and if agreed with you, or to collect the damaged item and organise a replacement or full refund.



Lacquered furniture should need little cleaning other than the regular use of a dry, soft cloth or duster. To remove any stains, use a dry or slightly damp cloth. Avoid the use of too much water as this will affect the surface. Frequent waxing should not be needed but can be carried out every couple of months using a good quality natural beeswax. Do not use the cheaper silicone furniture sprays as these may affect the finish. Never use any abrasive cleaning products or chemicals.

Products in a natural finish can be cleaned with a soft, damp cloth. Use a natural beeswax every few months to protect and nourish the wood.

Do not place hot or wet items directly onto the product surface as this can mark the finish. Clean any spills as soon as possible.

Avoid placing your furniture near a radiator or other heat source as this can lead to the wood drying out and shrinking, causing cracks or splitting. Ideally, leave at least a metre between your furniture and any heat source. Avoid also placing your furniture in strong, direct sunlight as the colour may fade over time.


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