Large Painted Literati Cabinet

Shanxi Province, C19th

Dimensions: W:77.5 D:53 H:191 (cm)
Reference: C277


  • Description

    A rare decorative cabinet with impressive size and intriguing painting of grand courtyard mansion living that warrants prominent positioning in contemporary interiors.

    The lacquered door surfaces are used to paint a narrative scene portraying the ceremonial lifestyle of Chinese officials and villagers, some presenting gifts, within the context of a grand mansion.

    The scene suggests that the cabinet may have belonged to a learned family, given that the literati scholar class continually sought knowledge, and the painted scrolls and books on the doors are symbolic of education and high office. Wealthy merchants, particularly in Shanxi, also sought to aspire to the status of the scholar, suggesting this cabinet could also have been commissioned by a merchant or a scholar.

    Consistent with age, the lacquer has begun to shift and chip but the artisan’s painted narrative remains clear, and is wonderfully offset with black lacquer background.

    Careful examination of the carving at the bottom of the cabinet reveals the idealised character for long life.

  • Print

… the artisan’s original and extraordinary painted narrative remains clear, a rare find…

  • Rare genuine antiques
  • Highly appreciated sympathetic restoration
  • International delivery available
  • Over many years I have found Sharon’s treasure trove of Chinese furniture a wonderful insight into China’s history and heritage. Each piece tells a story of bygone days and I only wish I had more space to accommodate even more items.

    Lou Tabor
  • We are absolutely delighted with the our tall red lacquered leather Chinese hat-box we purchased from Sharon Fitzsimmons. We were looking for an interesting and unusual piece, and this absolutely fits the brief. The quality, colour and size are perfect for our needs, both in appearance and as a useful side-table. Not only that, but we have an interesting talking point for our guests!

    Peter and Joanna Ruddock
  • I have a modern house and the clean lines of antique Chinese furniture suit it very well. The occasional red lacquer piece looks striking, such as a coffer I use as a sideboard in my dining area. I particularly love a pair of narrow, columnar walnut Gansu cabinets and I think they will enhance a contemporary walnut dining table I am awaiting delivery. I like the visual interest of old wood and mixing old and new adds character to a decor.

    Tina MacFarlane

Why Choose a Piece from the Collection

We have a rigorous selection criteria that every late Qing Dysnasty (1644-1911) piece must meet: authenticity, rarity, originality, function and fine craftsmanship. The provenance varies but is mostly Shanxi Province, a region renowned for Qing furniture. We offer diversity, and styles range from classical to vernacular. Over the many years the true testimony of our selection process is that customers are more than satisfied, and are often repeat buyers, as pieces are consistently proven to enhance interiors.

Restoration as Conservation of Antiques

Dedicated singlemindedness in carefully and painstakingly restoring every single antique, simple or complex, has resulted in a sympathetic conservation of antiques, pleasingly meeting customers satisfaction. Our restorers have an understanding of the original craftsman’s skills such as joinery, lacquering, carving, painting and other age old carpentry ways. Each restoration is done by experienced and skilled craftsmen with great attention to detail. On completion each piece is a stand alone form, with presence, integrity and artistic personality.