Painted Chinese chest
L: 86 W: 53 H: 58
Shandong province, China
Chinese-red box with paintings. The flowers and vases symbolise the wish for peace and harmony in the house. This box was mainly used for storage of clothing.
Chests were an essential means of storage because people would fold rather than hang clothes. They were prevalent all over China and 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.
The earliest chests were made with detachable lids. This changed to hinged lids with the front of the chest decorated with a circular or sometimes rectangular brass clasp.
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