Old camphor chest

L: 78 W: 52 H: 42
Elm wood
Shaanxi province, China

Wooden trunk with iron lock and 2 handles. The trunk has a slightly weathered look. Although not on the picture, the lock comes with a key pin.

Chinese chests were an essential means of storage when people would always fold rather than hang clothes. Trunks and chests were prevalent all over China, used to store everything from clothes, hats and bedding in a bedroom to food in the kitchen or documents and scrolls in a study. To save space they were often placed on top of cabinets or stacked one on top of the other, and would normally be placed in a lady’s bedroom or reception room. The earliest chests were produced with detachable lids. Only later, the lids would be hinged, and the front of the chest decorated with a circular or rectangular brass clasp.
Chests were commonly made from elm or pine wood. In some areas, notably Beijing and Hebei, chests were often made from nicely smelling camphor wood to repel moths and insects.

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