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Two section linen cabinet

Early 20th century

Origin: Zhejiang provinceTwo section linen cabinet

  • Hua li (tropical hardwood) panels and Chinese cedar frame, spruce lining
  • 985mm wide x 500mm deep x 1750mm high

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A special feature of this two section linen cabinet is the timber used, which make attractive colour contrasts. The reddish colour door panels and the external drawers on the bottom section are made from a precious tropical hardwood called hua li, a timber closely associated with that used for imperial furniture in the late Ming and early Qing periods.

The lustrous deep red natural colour of the timber glows from its age and firm texture. In contrast, the frame is from northern Chinese cedar with pale orange colour, a timber renowned for its fine smooth grain and soft colour. A black-lacquered frame on the doors separates and defines these two colours.

There are fine mouldings throughout the exterior of the cabinet which highlight the exquisite proportion of the cabinet. The door supports are carved in the shape of pomegranates and represent a wish for many children. The door fittings are a motif of a sceptre called a ruyi and are a symbol for good wishes.

It is worth noting that the cabinet was very well cared for by its previous owners and all the original brass fittings have remained intact.

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