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757. Pearl Cabinet

China, Kangxi period 1662 – 1722
Height: 23 cm
Width: 20,5 cm
depth: 13,2 cm

Provenance: Provenance:
Private Collection, United Kingdom

The shape of rectangular section with a fixed overhead carrying handle. The chest is fitted with five drawers, decorated with romantic scenes of ladies and gentlemen to the small drawers, and boys playing with flowers, leaves, and a crab to the longer drawer.
The back of chest is carved with two boys, one riding a donkey in a mountainous landscape with pavilions beside a lake. One side is decorated with a deer watching two birds in a prunus tree, with a third bird in flight. The other side is decorated with a monkey in a pine tree above water , reaching out with a stick to a insects nest. The metal fittings are made of Paktong, an Asian metal.
Each of the smaller drawers have Chinese characters written on the underside meaning:
1st drawer: “九珠" means “nine beads / pearls"
2nd drawer: “十珠" means “ten beads / pearls"
3rd drawer: “十一珠" means “eleven beads / pearls"
4th drawer: “十二珠" means “twelve beads / pearls"
These characters show that this chest of drawers was used to store pearls.

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