A Chinese Export Black – and – Gilt Lacquered Cabinet Shanxi Provence, China 19th. Circa 1850
The rectangular case of Black Lacquered Northern Chinese Elmwood, with a pair of doors, decorated with a continuous landscape scene of mountains, pagodas and lagoons, within stylized floral vinery borders, over an apron featuring two dragons playing with a ‘huoh chuh’ fire pearl in a border of geometric symbols, on square molded legs joined by stretchers.
In Chinese culture, the dragon is a legendary mythological symbol which dates back to 3000 BC and stands for power, noble, immortality, procreation, fertility and success. Dragons were believed to ward off evil spirits, as you can see the Emperor alone had nine of them on his brocade.