Red Lacquer Painted Sideboard
Gansu, circa 1880
This lovely sideboard in a deep red lacquer is a good example of the furniture from the mountainous regions of Gansu in western China. The carved spandrels at each side and the 'deer shaped' feet are typical of Gansu furniture. Pieces like this were often made from walnut but this one is in pine, still with its original finish and interesting paintings. The paintings would originally have been traced over in gold in a technique known as 'Miao Jin' in Chinese , and there are still parts where the gold is intact. As is often the case, however, this has largely worn away over time to leave the black outline below. The doors are decorated with flowers, as well as an inscription above the brass handles. On each of the panels either side is a wonderful depiction of a rider on horseback, set within a circular frame. The doors give access to the full space inside and there is a single shelf.