This charming little blanket chest is in its original black lacquer finish with the old paintings of peony flowers now faded and muted to soft colours against the dark background. The peony is a symbol for high rank and status in China, and is often seen on the paintings that decorated Chinese furniture to symbolise the importance of the owner. The trunk is from Shanxi province and made from pine with a new simple brass clasp on the front, and would perhaps have been used once to store the possessions of an important member of Chinese society. Today it would provide useful storage space and could possibly double as a small coffee table.
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