cabinet with open gallery on top, carved with openwork clouds and lions along lower edges; pair of hinged doors below with 2 shelves and 3 drawers on interior

Display Cabinet, one of a pair, 18th century

Unknown artist, expand_more

Huanghuali hardwoodexpand_more

Gift of Ruth and Bruce Daytonexpand_more  2001.32.1.1a-e

G218expand_more

There are very few Ming-style cabinets made specifically for the storage and display of art. This classic pair features decorative inner frames and railings surrounding the open shelves. Precious huanghuali hardwood has been used throughout, including the backs, shelves, tops, and bottoms of these luxurious storage units. Cabinets of this type have a high, open shelf on which to display antiques or decorative objects. There is a cupboard below with shelves and drawers for the storage of precious items not currently on display. In China, art displays are not permanent but are changed often, according to the season or special event. In order to emphasize the objects, the carving on the cabinet is concentrated around the display shelf, helping to focus attention on the treasured display item. The protective railings, or galleries, are exquisitely carved with openwork panels of striding lions amid dragon-cloud scrolls-animals associated with energy and valor. Typically used in public spaces within the household, display furniture such as this was a direct comment on one's wealth, status, cultural refinement, and taste in art.

Details
Title
Display Cabinet, one of a pair
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2001.32.1.1a-e
Curator Approved

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cabinet with open gallery on top, carved with openwork clouds and lions along lower edges; pair of hinged doors below with 2 shelves and 3 drawers on interior