/* Google tools*/

Antique linen cabinet with fine figure carving

19th century

Origin: Zhejiang province

  • southern hardwood
  • 1175mm wide x 500mm deep x 1815mm high

Large linen cabinets with deep shelves were ideal for holding thick padded winter bedding and jackets. They can perform a similar role in a contemporary home or be used to hold sheets and towels.

This cabinet is a feature piece. Its dimensions are such that it could stand in a living area or the main bedroom. The long straight lines and moulded panels give the cabinet a sense of strength and stability. The carved panels are striking with a bold longevity spiral border surrounding figures including the God of Longevity.

More detail

The carving on the right hand door shows the God of Immortality blessing a bowl of food. The young man is one of the Universal Twins symbolizing matrimonial harmony. On the other door the carving continues the theme of longevity. A scholar official is sitting at a table having a cheerful conversation with his friend who, somewhat enigmatically, can be seen stroking the head of a crane, a popular symbol of long life.

The back of the cabinet has what is known as a “pi hui” finish.  It is a combination of lacquer and very fine fired clay mixed together and applied on a bed of fabric. When dry and hard it protects the timber from moving due to changes in temperature and humidity.

The timber is a regional southern Chinese hardwood. It is dense and has characteristics similar to oak.