Large Tapered Natural Elm Cabinet
Shanxi circa 1890
This tall, elegant cabinet is from Shanxi province in central China and is in a classic 'round cornered' style. The rounded frames extend down to the legs and taper up slightly to fit into the overhanging top, giving a sense of upward movement and fluidity. The door panels are similarly set within rounded frames that slot directly into the horizontal frames above and below using wooden dowels. This simple design does away with the need for external metal hinges and adds to the simple, pure look. The central post between the doors is a stylistic feature seen in later Chinese furniture and is removable to allow easier access to the inside. The upper shelf inside the cabinet is removable and sits above a fixed shelf with two shallow inset drawers. The original finish has been stripped back to show the natural, pale elm wood, with its lovely patterned grain on the doors. The dark brass hardware is old, with simple ring handles.
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