Tianjin Catalpa Sideboard
Tianjin, circa 1900
This handsome sideboard, with its multiple doors and drawers, was produced in Tianjin on China's east cost at the beginning of the last century. The robust, chunky style and heavy hardware are typical of furniture from the city. The cabinet is made from a wood known as 'catalpa' - a less common material than elm but one that is highly resistant to decay and often used for panels in lacquered furniture. Normally a light yellow in colour, the wood has been stained to a warm, rich brown that beautifully brings out its open grain. The brass hardware is original and adds the distinctive Chinese style to an otherwise simple design. Perfect as a dining room sideboard or in a reception area.