of rectangular form, comprising of five stacked shallow trays, each divided into five long narrow walled compartments by four dividers, set with a thin sliding cover, the characteristic 'feathered' grain of the wood present throughout beneath a rich dark-brown patina
The rarity of the present jichimu box lies in its function to contain a collection of folding fans. Folding fans were especially favoured by the scholar class, not only as a functional tool to keep cool in the summer months, but also as a vehicle for their painting and calligraphy. The present lot can hold a minimum of 25 fans, but could probably hold quite a few more due to its unusually large size.
Jichimu which in Chinese means 'chicken-wing wood' belongs to the hardwood family with two known species, the lao (old) and the xin (new) jichimu. The old jichimu was used for making furniture during the Ming Dynasty to the early Qing, however, it is rarely seen from the mid-Qing period onwards. It has a fine grain pattern of alternating dark brown and grey lines, and when cut vertically it shows a flecked pattern that is especially beautiful and fine, resembling bird feathers.
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