Three Drawer Carved Shaanxi Coffer
Shaanxi, circa 1800
The heavy relief carvings on the drawers of this old coffer are some of the finest we have seen. They depict scrolling dragons, with a long life symbol in the middle of the larger, lower drawer. The side spandrels and bottom are also beautifully carved, and still show traces of the original, brightly coloured lacquer in reds and blues. The dark lacquer on the frames and top surface has now largely worn, leaving a lovely crackled effect on the drawers. The top surface in particular has worn down to the elm wood, with its beautiful grain. The coffer dates from the beginning of the 19th century and is a fine example of the furniture that was typically produced in the Shaanxi region of central China.