Antique cabinet from Shanxi province

Antique wedding cabinet from Shanxi province

this cabinet comes from Shanxi province – likely from Pingyao or a surrounding area. The sloping waves of cracked lacquer are unique and in Chinese this type of lacquering is know as “pi ma hui” (披麻灰). It refers to the covering of the wood with a layer of hemp and clay before the overcoat of lacquer is applied. By the Qing dynasty this method was in decline and rarely used due to its labor intensity and thus makes it easy to roughly date this cabinet to late Ming early Qing period. While many foreigners might incorrectly refer to this as a “Chinese wedding cabinet,” the motifs and color tell us otherwise.

this cabinet comes from Shanxi province – likely from Pingyao or a surrounding area. The sloping waves of cracked lacquer are unique and in Chinese this type of lacquering is know as “pi ma hui” (披麻灰). It refers to the covering of the wood with a layer of hemp and clay before the overcoat of lacquer is applied. By the Qing dynasty this method was in decline and rarely used due to its labor intensity and thus makes it easy to roughly date this cabinet to late Ming early Qing period. While many foreigners might incorrectly refer to this as a “Chinese wedding cabinet,” the motifs and color tell us otherwise.

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