A Beautiful Late 19thC Black Japanned & Chinoiserie Decorated Chest of Drawers

Origin: British
Period: Victorian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1880-90
Height: 33 inches
Width: 35 inches
Depth: 18.5 inches (all at extremities)

Of desirable proportions, the nineteenth century black japanned pine carcass chest having two short frieze drawers above two long drawers raised on turned onion supports with gilt and polychrome chinoiserie decoration in relief depicting typical oriental figures, pagodas and landscapes the drawers with slightly later brass batwing handles, the sides with further decoration depicting bamboo and fauna within cartouches, surviving from the late Victorian period.

The condition of the chest is truly country house, i.e. lived in but thoroughly evocative. There are cosmetic deficiencies to the lacquer to note; with several scratches, scuffs, and losses though overall it remains a very attractive piece in its entirety. There is a very well established patination to the lacquer. The top comprises three pieces and has a huge amount of wear, though attractive, whilst there is a 3-inch section of moulding to the top lacking. We love pieces that show their battle scars and remain in un-restored condition, with both flanks decoration faded. The feet are original and the handles, although very old, are more like early twentieth century replacements though they are in keeping. She is structurally stable and her drawers move freely.

The fine art of chinoiserie has been in existence since the 17th century, and it depicts Chinese style designs applied to furniture, ceramics and fabrics. Chinoiserie is wonderfully beautiful, and tends to depict realistic and fictitious animals, insects, people, foliage, structures and various other elaborate Asian designs that can be incorporated into a number of decorating themes. Antique pieces embellished with Asian-style chinoiserie and high-quality japanning are coated with baked-on layers that look very much like modern-day high-gloss enamel. Chinoiserie that has been japanned is coated with many layers of resin-based gloss and baked dry. Much polishing goes into the true technique of japanning, and high-quality pieces will appear to have deep layers of gloss with the sheen of fine marble, but true antique pieces like this will show signs of age and wear.

Pretty and petit, lived in and gloriously decorative.