Red Gold Detailed High Lacquer 2 Door Birthday Cabinet


A treasure piece from later Qing Dynasty Chinese  Birthday Cabinet from Shanxi Province

1 in stock


A rare acquisition.  The classic Chinese red gold detailed painted/drawn cabinet has been restored and re-lacquered. From the paintings on the piece, we can tell that this cabinet obviously was originally made for a birthday celebration of an important member of a wealthy family in Xi’an city in the late Qing Dynasty. All the paintings on the doors and frames were specially designed for the good birthday wishes of immortality.   The story was told by depicting the family garden scene on 2 doors. The painting was drawn with expensive real gold pigment. The followings show the traditional Chinese auspicious patterns of the painting on the piece:

Wanzi pattern (卐) on the top of the middle of the frame:  is a geometric pattern with auspicious meaning in traditional Chinese culture. It is formed by combining multiple 10,000 (卐) characters, which is a tetragonal continuous pattern. Among them, the character “10,000” means auspiciousness, and the pattern卐 called “less than head” means continuous, so together lots of 卐 means continuous auspiciousness and endless life. 

Rosa Chinensis on the top of the left frame:  has the meaning and symbol of Tens of thousands of years life. Roses are evergreen shrubs. The leaves are green all year round. The trees can survive for more than a hundred years in this rose. They have a very long life span. Planting them in the yard has a wish for your family’s health and long life. 

Pine tree and Taihu Rock on the left door: it vividly depicts the main garden house with a pine tree and a Rock to the left.
Pine tree can withstand the wind and snow and is evergreen in all seasons. It has been hailed as a symbol of “longevity” in the past. Rock Taihu stone is also called longevity stone, Because the name ‘Shou’ is pronounced sound like ‘寿‘ which means longevity. These 2 elements together often appear in Chinese paintings and ornaments for ‘longevity’ wish.

Daffodils around the rock on the right door: Means ‘群仙祝寿‘ a Chinese idiom that come from The story of “East Journey” in the Ming Dynasty. Legend has it that The Eight Immortals went to Yaochi to celebrate the birthday of the Queen Mother of the West, and they are auspicious and festive gods in folk beliefs. Here the scene taking a few narcissus as a metaphor of  ‘ The Eight Legends – The Immortals” and the rock referring to ‘longevity’ gave a wish to the birthday person a long live life.

Filled Boat travelling on the water on the right door: In Chinese numerology, the boat and water do not separate as they are the symbol of wealth.

Three Big Pomegranates on the bottom panel: represent a wish to have more children in the family.

There are still lots of details and stories waiting to be discovered in the drawings of the piece. This is a true second to none statement piece, it almost can bring you back to the glory days of the family.

Today this piece is suitable for any room as a drinks cabinet, wardrobe, or media centre. There is a secret compartment under the floor of the cabinet.

Country of Origin
c.1890 Shanxi Province, China

Width 118cm x Depth 56cm x Height 178cm

Solid wood

Care instructions
Clean with a soft cloth
Keep away from heat sources and direct sunlight

Delivery details
You are always welcome to come to pick the goods up at our store or our warehouse in Bristol free charge.

Goods will be usually dispatched within 5 working days after the payment has been received
Delivery Cost within mainland UK- £60.00

Due to the size and weight of this item, it is despatched using our bespoke furniture courier service delivered on a mutually convenient day. 

We deliver our goods internationally. Please email us at with your enquiries. 


Additional information

Weight 60 kg
Dimensions 118 × 56 × 178 cm