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Lacquered cabinet with decorative gold design

Updated: Jun 02, 2023


Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)

Dimensions: 102 cm×52 cm×190 cm

The cabinet is made of chaimu wood and coated with black and red lacquer. The front of the frame is painted with golden brocade patterns.

The cabinet doors feature a flexible opening mechanism without bolt, and are inlaid with six rectangular red-lacquer panels to divide the doors into three symmetrical sections.

The upper section depicts intricate patterns of rocks, flowers and birds. The middle section showcases antique motifs, while the lower section portrays garden scenery.

Intertwining floral motifs decorate the frames of the door panels. The panels are joined to the cabinet frame by two pairs of copper hinges.

Below the cabinet doors, there is a storage compartment embellished with a pattern of twin dragons flanking the medallion pattern of the Chinese character for longevity (shou).

The gold decoration is a technique of drawing patterns on a plain lacquered surface using gold “mud” (a thick paint blended with powdered gold and varnish). The craftsman then applies the golden paint to the dried lacquer surface with a brush to create pictorial designs or inscriptions.

The thick consistency of the golden paint gives the decorative design a subtle elevation above the surrounding surface, creating a finish reminiscent of a low relief.

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