Chinese Cabinets

Without closets, the Chinese developed many different kinds of cabinets in order to store away clothing, tableware, pottery, and other decorative objects that were not currently being used. The cabinets were usually made of wood, and often decorated with brass details, various kinds of inlays for decoration. Cabinets were also often traditionally lacquered in red or black, and created in many different sizes to accommodate for any type of object.

There are two main large Chinese cabinets: square-cornered, or round-cornered. With many flat surfaces, the square-cornered cabinets lend themselves to more elaborate decorations. The overhangs of these types of cabinets are very boxy as opposed to the tapered edges of the round-cornered cabinets. While the square-cornered cabinet doors need to be mounted on hinges, round-cornered cabinet doors fit right into the frame of the cabinet.

Cabinets of smaller sizes, various kinds of shelving, and different storage spaces also exist for concealing smaller household items such as medicine, food, plates, bowls, teapots, and other everyday things.


Quick Facts

  • Most Chinese cabinets are easily disassembled for easy moving
  • Cabinets often contained secret compartments for hiding valuables
  • Drawers were not commonly used, mostly because they were not as easy to lock and secure

Recommended Items at Auction

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Chinese Rosewood Cabinet
Oct 22, 11:00 AM PDT
Chinese Rosewood Cabinet
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $80- $120
$204 Bids
CHINESE ROSEWOOD STEREO CABINET
Oct 26, 6:00 PM PDT
CHINESE ROSEWOOD STEREO CABINET
by O'Gallerie
Est: $200- $300
$1103 Bids
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CHINESE STYLE CARVED HARDWOOD ALTAR CABINET
Oct 20, 10:00 AM EDT
CHINESE STYLE CARVED HARDWOOD ALTAR CABINET
by Litchfield Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1252 Bids
Chinese Cabinet, Floral Painted Doors, 34"h x 39"w x 20"d
Oct 19, 4:00 PM EDT
Chinese Cabinet, Floral Painted Doors, 34"h x 39"w x 20"d
by Bill Hood & Sons Arts & Antiques Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
Large vintage Chinese timber cabinet with metal hardware, sliding doors below.
Oct 24, 11:00 AM AEST
Large vintage Chinese timber cabinet with metal hardware, sliding doors below.
by Pfeffer's Auctions
Est: AUD200- AUD600
AUD1001 Bid
CHINESE ROSEWOOD SILVERWARE CABINET
Oct 26, 6:00 PM PDT
CHINESE ROSEWOOD SILVERWARE CABINET
by O'Gallerie
Est: $200- $300
$1001 Bid
Vintage Chinese Wall Mounted Curio Cabinet
Oct 27, 4:00 PM EDT
Vintage Chinese Wall Mounted Curio Cabinet
by Anzardo's Fine Arts
Est: $200- $300
$1001 Bid
Vintage Chinese Wall Mounted Curio Cabinet
Oct 27, 4:00 PM EDT
Vintage Chinese Wall Mounted Curio Cabinet
by Anzardo's Fine Arts
Est: $200- $300
$1001 Bid
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CHINESE GILT BLACK SCARLET LACQUER CABINET
Oct 20, 10:00 AM EDT
CHINESE GILT BLACK SCARLET LACQUER CABINET
by Litchfield Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
ROSEWOOD TAMBOUR-FRONT SIDE CABINET
Oct 25, 6:00 PM PDT
ROSEWOOD TAMBOUR-FRONT SIDE CABINET
by O'Gallerie
Est: $150- $200
$801 Bid
Chinese Stand, Chair and Cabinet with Secret Compartments
Oct 23, 9:00 AM EDT
Chinese Stand, Chair and Cabinet with Secret Compartments
by Case Antiques, Inc. Auctions & Appraisals
Est: $250- $350
$1250 Bids
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Chinese Red-Lacquered Cabinet
Oct 24, 10:00 AM CDT
Chinese Red-Lacquered Cabinet
by New Orleans Auction Galleries
Est: $2,500- $4,000
$2,2000 Bids
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Chinese Red-Lacquered Cabinet
Oct 24, 10:00 AM CDT
Chinese Red-Lacquered Cabinet
by New Orleans Auction Galleries
Est: $2,500- $4,000
$2,2000 Bids
Grand Vintage Painted Chinese Cabinet
Oct 20, 10:00 AM EDT
Grand Vintage Painted Chinese Cabinet
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc
Est: $400- $800
$10 Bids
PICCOLO ARMADIO in legno laccato
Oct 20, 8:00 PM CEST
PICCOLO ARMADIO in legno laccato
by Benedetto Trionfante Casa d’Aste
Est: €1,000- €1,200
€3400 Bids
VETRINETTA a due ante
Oct 20, 8:00 PM CEST
VETRINETTA a due ante
by Benedetto Trionfante Casa d’Aste
Est: €900- €1,000
€2000 Bids
A CARVED ROSEWOOD CABINET
Oct 21, 8:00 PM EDT
A CARVED ROSEWOOD CABINET
by Ingenuity Gallery
Est: $400- $600
$1000 Bids
A CARVED ALOES-WOOD FOOD CABINET
Oct 21, 8:00 PM EDT
A CARVED ALOES-WOOD FOOD CABINET
by Ingenuity Gallery
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$3000 Bids
19th C Qing Qian Long Gold Carved Window Panel Cabinet
Oct 23, 10:00 AM EDT
19th C Qing Qian Long Gold Carved Window Panel Cabinet
by Atlanta Auction Gallery, ltd
Est: $500- $1,000
$2500 Bids
CHINESE HARDWOOD TALL CABINET
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
CHINESE HARDWOOD TALL CABINET
by Everard Auctions and Appraisals
Est: $700- $1,000
$4250 Bids
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CHINESE LACQUER STORAGE CABINET
Oct 20, 10:00 AM EDT
CHINESE LACQUER STORAGE CABINET
by Litchfield Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$1500 Bids
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CHINESE LACQUERED TALL CABINET
Oct 20, 10:00 AM EDT
CHINESE LACQUERED TALL CABINET
by Litchfield Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2000 Bids
Group of Chinese Soapstone Cabinet Articles and a Bronze Vessel
Oct 26, 10:00 AM EDT
Group of Chinese Soapstone Cabinet Articles and a Bronze Vessel
by Material Culture
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
Chinese Elmwood Cabinet
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
Chinese Elmwood Cabinet
by Main Auction Galleries
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Chinese Cabinets


O'Gallerie

O'Gallerie

Pfeffer's Auctions

Pfeffer's Auctions

Litchfield Auctions

Litchfield Auctions

Ander's Auction

Ander's Auction