Personal tools

Two section linen cabinet with carving

Early 20th century

Chinese cabinet

Two section cabinet side.jpg Two section cabinet open.jpg Two section cabinet upper doors.jpg Two section cabinet lower doors.jpg

The rich colours of hand sewn silk garments shimmering in the light were signs of status and wealth. When not being worn these precious items were carefully stored in camphorwood furniture to keep insects at bay.

This cabinet lifts and brightens a room with hand carving of birds cavorting among flowers and contemplative lake scenes. These pictures invite you to come closer and when you open the doors the refreshing smell of camphorwood wafts over you. The inclusion of two built-in lockable compartments, still with their original metal fittings, is unique and intriguing. They could have held valuable scrolls from a famous artist or silk rank badges of a scholar official.

The two drawers on the lower section are deep and long, suitable for small clothing or stationery. The interior of the cabinet is well sized for bulky clothes and linen.

Origin: Zhejiang province

  • camphor wood
  • 860mm wide x 500mm deep x 1750mm high
  • $5900

 

 

There is a nominal charge of $85 for careful transport to the metropolitan capital cities in Australia except Darwin. If you live outside these areas please contact us so appropriate shipping arrangements can be made.

More detail

The carving of magpies and plum blossoms on the left upper door is a rebus recognised by literate Chinese. The Chinese language has many homonyms; different written words with the same pronunciation. Magpies and plum blossom “xi shang mei shao” brings to mind an idiomatic expression of different characters with the same pronunciation that means to be very happy.

The right side door depicts camellia and the paradise flycatcher. The Chinese names mean “forever Spring flower” and “long life bird”. Together they form a wish for long life. The cover plate for the locks is in the shape of a citrus called Buddha’s Hand and is also a long life symbol.