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Antique Two Piece Elm Display Cabinet
Item No. 19113

18th - 19th Century, N/A, China
Lacquer over Wood
73" x 37" x 21.5"
( 185.42 x 93.98 x 54.61 cm)
(H x W x D)

During the 18th Century in China, the concept of combined storage and display in one unit developed and proliferated and remained popular through the 19th century. This finely made elm cupboard exemplifies this concept: it has a display area with an arched frame decorated with elaborately carved lotuses on the sides and birds and foliate splays on the top. Three carved panels line the top with a bird in each of the outer panels, and the center contains a bat and stylized cloud forms, all propitious symbols of good luck. Below is a storage section composed of two drawers and a double door with original hardware which encloses a shelf. A carved apron with scroll motifs is attached to the short legs. Such pieces would have been owned by scholars or government officials, placed in a special room to greet and entertain guests and used to display bronzes, jades, or other precious items.

The quality of the wood and the decorative carving on this cupboard are remarkable, and the piece is an excellent setting for precious objects.

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