This old Chinese wedding cabinet was original from Manchuria China and was called ‘Kang Piano’ placed on the top of ‘Kang’ – a huge warm bed in northern China. Kang Piano was used to be a piece of extremely popular furniture in Manchuria for over two thousand years. This style of furniture has stopped making since the mid of the last century with the developments of modern conditions and society.
In ancient times, Kang Pianos were mainly made of solid wood with a few carved tricks, the overall appearance of the wood is the original primitive pattern. About 300 years ago, the drawings were introduced into the making of the furniture. Artists are mostly folk artists, with watercolor painting in Chinese painting style, the painting patterns are landscape, flowers, and folklore legend fragments.
This piece was specially made for a new newlywed couple by the couplet written vertically in Chinese calligraphy on the 2 frames between the drawers. The drawings of the flowers and the creatures in gold on the front of the piece are so vivid and full of good meanings and wonderful wishes for this couple. For example:
The carp & lotus on the middle drawer: implying the purity and the wealth, the joint of two is simply a gift of nature, a perfect combination. The calligraphy words 乙丑年 on the side indicates the year of this piece was made in 1925.
The bok choy & Honey on the right drawer: meaning life will be sweet and happy with ‘a hundred of fortune’.
The pomegranates in pairs on the front doors: symbolising prosperity in Chinese folk custom, blessing this couple would have a lot of children and the continuity of the family.
Plenty of the magpies & butterflies everywhere of front doors: Magpie is a symbol of ‘congratulation’ in Chinese culture; Traditional Chinese literature often regards flying butterflies as a symbol of free love, and loyal to lovers. Together of these two creatures imply the wish of sweet love and happy marriage.
There are also 2 Chinese words “专” and “福” written on each side of the mainframes of the piece. Together they mean the speacial happiness and the pursuit of love perfection.
The top of the Cabinet is still kept in the original wooden finish but newly high lacquered. The body was also kept in originally painted with red tung oil. Overall this classic piece is certainly a treasure as it marked a historic moment of a tale and yet a very personal and special one.
Country of Origin
c.1920 Manchuria, China
Width 157cm x Depth 40cm x Height 93cm
Clean with a soft cloth
Keep away from heat sources or direct sunlight
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