Lot 14
  • 14

A Chinese Export parcel-gilt black lacquer and reverse-painted mirror picture-mounted secretaire cabinet circa 1810

50,000 - 70,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • giltwood, painted wood, mirror glass
  • height 7 ft. 8 in.; width 4 ft. 1 1/4 in.; depth 23 3/4 in.
  • 233.7 cm; 125.1 cm; 60.3 cm

Catalogue Note

This cabinet displays the fusion of Western and Oriental forms and decoration that occurred as part of the ever expanding East-West trade throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. From its swan-neck pediment down to its bracket feet, this cabinet’s form is based on English 18th century designs. The Chinese lacquer with its overall pattern is from the late 19th/early 20th century and seen in a number of Export pieces (see in Carl Crossman, The Decorative Arts of the China Trade, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1991, plates. 146, 17, 148) and the reverse painted mirrors appear to be Indian in origin.  A number of English forms, particularly games tables with similar lacquer decoration were made during this time period for export to Britain and America.  Many of these wears were sold in Canton, for example, Captain William Gray of Salem, Massachusetts, bought a lacquer knee-hole dressing table from Canton before 1800; this piece is now in the Collection of the Essex Institute. (Ibid, plate 149, p. 272)