Asian Antiques by Silk Road

Tibetan Painted Cabinet


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Directory: Archives: Furnishings: Pre 1900: Item # 538845

Please refer to our stock # 41-48 when inquiring.
Silk Road Gallery
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PO Box 2175
Branford, Connecticut 06405, USA
(203) 208-0771

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This early 19th century Tibetan cabinet is painted with flowers and foliage that revealed original deep colors as we painstakingly removed layers of soot from the surface. A combination of the high Himalayan climate and soot from yak butter lamps has the fortunate result of protecting colors on painted Tibetan furniture. The inside of this piece still retains the wonderful exotic odor of burning lamps. Each of the four doors is centered with a cartouche of red and purplish flowers nestled among green leaves. The cartouche is surrounded by scrolling patterns outlined in raised gesso. The doors pivot open on wood pegs that are carved as part of the frame. Gesso also defines designs on all the frame pieces and on three panels below the bottom set of doors. A shelf runs the width of the piece behind the top doors; the bottom doors open on a larger storage area. This cabinet may have been used in a monastery, where most furniture was used, or in the home of a prominent family near Lhasa. The typical Tibetan household did not have furniture. Cabinets in this configuration served a dual purpose, storing clothing as well as food and utensils. Tibetan furniture is made of woods available at high altitudes, generally pine or fir, and usually is painted only on the front as is the case with this cabinet. We guarantee this is an anthentic Tibetan piece, not a "suspect piece" from China; we purchased it in Kathmandu from a Tibetan. The cabinet is quite solid and in good condition. Dimensions: height 35" (89 cm), width 30" 76 cm), depth 14" (36 cm). SEE MORE ITEMS IN OUR COLLECTION AT WWW.SILKROAD1.COM