Painted Elephant Trunk Table

c. 1900
$3,180 USD
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W: 45.75" D: 19.0" H: 19.5"
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This fantastic painted trunk from northern China is lavishly decorated from end to end in the Tibetan style with a rich palette of red, orange, and green. Raised outlines and layers of glossy lacquer lend the chest rich texture and catch the light beautifully. The front is painted with two white elephants, one of the seven treasures of the Chakravarti and a symbol of calm and strength of mind. Painted on the sides, and repeated throughout, are depictions of the "three jewels," representing the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, the means by which a Buddhist takes spiritual refuge.

Painted on the lid is a mythical fu lion dog, also known as shizi, a benevolent guardian to protect the belongings stowed within. The chest is trimmed with a gold border painted with round jewels, scrollwork, and Shou longevity symbols, and reinforced with iron brackets. A statement piece in any interior, the trunk is elevated by a custom steel mount for use as a coffee, cocktail or side table.

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