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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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A profusely carved hongmu display cabinet, circa 1900
Mar 03, 11:00 AM AEDT
A profusely carved hongmu display cabinet, circa 1900
by Gibson's
Est: AUD3,000- AUD5,000
AUD3,2005 Bids
Chinese Carved Wood Etagere
Mar 02, 10:00 AM EST
Chinese Carved Wood Etagere
by Alex Cooper
Est: $500- $600
$2752 Bids
A miniature Chinese black lacquer two door cabinet, 20th century
Mar 03, 11:00 AM AEDT
A miniature Chinese black lacquer two door cabinet, 20th century
by Gibson's
Est: AUD100- AUD200
AUD1002 Bids
Pair of gilt and lacquered Chinese cabinets (83 x 58 x 37cm)
Mar 07, 10:00 AM AEDT
Pair of gilt and lacquered Chinese cabinets (83 x 58 x 37cm)
by Lawsons
Est: AUD100- AUD200
AUD152 Bids
CHINESE CABINET, ORIGINAL HARDWARE
Mar 12, 11:15 AM EDT
CHINESE CABINET, ORIGINAL HARDWARE
by Ashcroft and Moore
Est: $1,000- $10,000
$1001 Bid
Unique Asian Carved Bar Liquor Serving Cabinet
Mar 29, 10:00 AM EDT
Unique Asian Carved Bar Liquor Serving Cabinet
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $50- $1,000
$101 Bid
A Chinese Timber, Mother of Pearl Inlay Display Cabinet, Four Glass Doors over Four Drawers & Four Doors
Mar 17, 11:00 AM AEDT
A Chinese Timber, Mother of Pearl Inlay Display Cabinet, Four Glass Doors over Four Drawers & Four Doors
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD200- AUD400
AUD1001 Bid
A Chinese gilt wood decorated black lacquer cabinet, 20th century
Mar 03, 11:00 AM AEDT
A Chinese gilt wood decorated black lacquer cabinet, 20th century
by Gibson's
Est: AUD300- AUD500
AUD2001 Bid
A Chinese black lacquer two door cabinet, 20th century
Mar 03, 11:00 AM AEDT
A Chinese black lacquer two door cabinet, 20th century
by Gibson's
Est: AUD300- AUD400
AUD2401 Bid
Chinese Chippendale style mahogany vitrine
Mar 06, 10:00 AM EST
Chinese Chippendale style mahogany vitrine
by Millea Bros Ltd
Est: $200- $300
$1001 Bid
Chinese red lacquer cabinet
Mar 07, 10:00 AM EST
Chinese red lacquer cabinet
by Millea Bros Ltd
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids
Nice Chinese Modern pagoda bar cabinet
Mar 06, 10:00 AM EST
Nice Chinese Modern pagoda bar cabinet
by Millea Bros Ltd
Est: $300- $500
$1500 Bids
CHINESE LACQUER CUPBOARD
Mar 12, 11:15 AM EDT
CHINESE LACQUER CUPBOARD
by Ashcroft and Moore
Est: $100- $1,000
$500 Bids
Aesthetic Movement Bamboo Stools, Pair
Mar 12, 11:00 AM EDT
Aesthetic Movement Bamboo Stools, Pair
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $200- $400
$500 Bids
PAIR OF SCHOLARS CABINETS/ PAAR BÜCHERSCHRÄNKE, China, 19.Jh.,
Mar 22, 2:00 PM CET
PAIR OF SCHOLARS CABINETS/ PAAR BÜCHERSCHRÄNKE, China, 19.Jh.,
by zeitGenossen Antiquitäten - Kunst - Design
Est: €0- €0
€7000 Bids
CHINESE VINTAGE UNIT
Mar 15, 6:00 PM EDT
CHINESE VINTAGE UNIT
by Auction by Daum
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$6500 Bids
Chinese Black Lacquered Hardstone Cabinet
Mar 17, 12:00 PM EDT
Chinese Black Lacquered Hardstone Cabinet
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $400- $600
$1000 Bids
Chinese Style Stained Pine Low Cabinet 23-1/2"h x 4'5"w x 17"d
Mar 14, 10:00 AM EDT
Chinese Style Stained Pine Low Cabinet 23-1/2"h x 4'5"w x 17"d
by Nye & Company
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
Chinese Style Carved Hardwood Armoire 8'2"h x 43-1/4"w x 20-1/2"d
Mar 14, 10:00 AM EDT
Chinese Style Carved Hardwood Armoire 8'2"h x 43-1/4"w x 20-1/2"d
by Nye & Company
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids
Y A MATCHED PAIR OF CHINESE EXPORT BLACK LACQUER AND CHINOISERIE DECORATED CABINETS ON STANDS
Mar 05, 10:30 AM GMT
Y A MATCHED PAIR OF CHINESE EXPORT BLACK LACQUER AND CHINOISERIE DECORATED CABINETS ON STANDS
by Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales
Est: £1,500- £2,500
£1,5000 Bids
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Pair of Antique Chinese Lacquer Cabinets
Mar 13, 2:00 PM EDT
Pair of Antique Chinese Lacquer Cabinets
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $200- $800
$200 Bids
CHINESE TURQUOISE LACQUERED CABINET
Mar 05, 10:00 AM GMT
CHINESE TURQUOISE LACQUERED CABINET
by Sheppards
Est: €250- €350
€1500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Chinese Cabinets


Schuler Auktionen

Schuler Auktionen

Gibson's

Gibson's

Millea Bros Ltd

Millea Bros Ltd

Sheppards

Sheppards