Ming Style Painted Book Cabinet with Rural Idyll

Shanxi Province, late C18th

Dimensions: W:76 D:42 H:88 (cm)
Reference: C156


  • Description

    A rare well preserved C18th cabinet with painted doors depicting a rural idyll, framed by symbolically fortuitous and auspicious butterflies.

    This idyll depicts a peaceful narrative of the Confucian ideal of learned, scholarly men enjoying the harmony of a stylised country retreat. A scholar is shown sitting in contemplation in a pagoda, in preparation for executing the supreme Chinese art form, a calligraphic poem. The wonderful blue clouds impart an almost ethereal feel to the overall imagery.

    The large round decorative metal hinge plates, lock plates and decorative nail heads are original and add distinction to the piece. The metal pulls depict fish, symbolic of abundance and plenty. The lacquer is original and wonderfully crackled in parts.

    The double base with low relief carving provides a delicate framework on which to show the piece at its best. The recessed upper base is decorated with three narrow “taohuan” panels, while the bottom base has a carved scrolling design.

  • Print

…ethereal painting of a rural idyll…

  • 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.