The photos don't do this piece justice.
This was originally a multi-tiered Chinese
travelling wedding or food box dating to at
least the late 18th or early 19th century
and most likely even older than this.

These were pieces of travelling furniture
for the high born of course.
For noble families of wealth and privilege
who had servants to do their bidding.

They were transported with a wooden pole
support going through the square hole at
the top which was then carried by the poor
old servants to their destination
(like the Chinese carriage we have too).

They were used for both food carrying boxes
to a wedding or other movable feast and/or
as a travelling dowry box for a bride to
use to take her personal possessions
when moving to her new home.

Most likely the bride was given one as
part of her dowry to take to her new home
and then re-use it as required to
carrying the food when necessary.

They can date back as early as the 16th century
but we are conservatively dating it to the
late 1700s or early 1800s.

Originally it had 4 separate boxes that sat
on top of each other which were then secured
within the decorated frame and carried with a pole.
There is an original 16th century one currently
for sale on the internet that still comes apart
like this and still retains most of its original
red lacquer finish too which is amazing.
Of course it is also in a different price tag
to ours - a bit over $13,000 if memory serves.
There are too many similarities between these 2
chests not too conclude this one should also date
to the late 17th century.

This chest was altered in the late 20th century
so it was more useful for modern day living.
The four boxes have been changed into two
larger cupboards with hinged doors see photos.
You can still see where the boxes start and finish
so it has not been completely gutted and changed
but remodelled, an important distinction as almost
all of the original chest still exists but in
a different format from when it was first made
all those centuries ago.
It still seems to have all the original metal work
on the sides and top and all the stud work looks
to be original too.
The original lacquer finish is gone - lacquer is
very fragile - and now has a very stylish monochrome
finish that will fit easily into a modern interior .

The previous owners had a wine storage box made
for it that slips into the top section making it
a wine cellar shown in one photo.
As you can see it comes out easily too so the
choice is yours as to how you utilise it but
you'll be hard pressed to find another wine
rack quite as old as this one.

It measures 86cm wide, 111cm high and 54cm deep.


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