This exceptional pair of cabinets were produced in Tibet around the beginning of the twentieth century. Cabinets like these were often made from pine and produced in pairs and would have been used to store ceremonial robes, important documentation and scrolls. Each is beautifully painted in a palette of greens, yellows, blues and oranges, typical of furniture produced in the Tibetan area, the colours would once have been brighter, but have softened over time to autumnal hues. The top surface of each cabinet is in the original black finish, this has now worn over time to give a wonderful, aged patina to the rustic pine wood.
Paintings here include several religious Buddhist symbols that are important and customary to China beliefs. Each of the six panels each show a lotus flower set in the middle of a floral shaped outline, with the lotus flower symbolising Buddha's awakening and purity. Depicted on the first cabinet is a white elephant to the top right, symbolising strength, honour and wisdom in Buddhism, with a white elephant in particular associated with divinity and peace. Other religious symbols can be picked out such as a mythical 'Wind Horse' and a dharma wheel, one of the oldest of Buddhist symbols. Cabinet two has paintings of the 'Buddhas of the three times' (past, present and future,) each holding a fruit, most likely to be each of the three fruits of blessings, these can be seen on the three upper panels. Lotus flowers beautifully duplicate those on cabinet one, with just the subtle differences of the varying symbols on the above three panels.
Each cabinet has two opening doors to the top and bottom allowing full access to the inside space, however two of the outer panels are fixed. A single shelf sits half way up utilising the area within the cabinet.
It is quite rare to find Tibetan furniture like these in an original condition with colourful old paintings that are still clearly visible and intact. A matching pair like these are most unusual, making these extra special, extraordinary and will only be sold as a pair with this in mind.
The pair would certainly make a statement in any interior setting with their character, prettiness, wonderful colour and sense of Chinese history.
Sold together as a pair, the price shown is for the two cabinets.