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What is this Asian Cabinet? What would it be used for?

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    Posted 12 years ago

    (11 items)

    I think this Asian cabinet was made around 1915? Don't know if it is Asian or made in USA. The compartments and doors have a strange configuration - what would this be used for? and it has rice paper with symbols on them as lining...why?

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    1. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 12 years ago
      For use, it would look great in my living-room.
    2. Phoenx777 Phoenx777, 11 years ago
      My mother has one similar to this and we haven't had any luck establishing much info. either!!! I will continue to research and will post if anything found. Have you had any luck at all? Pls. share, if so. TY
    3. suburbantreasure, 11 years ago
      Hi, Recently I've found this type of cabinet described as a "Coffer Cabinet". I don't think that helps much, because I think "Coffer" is just a general term for any "thing". I've also read that the compartments might be deep for linen or clothing to be stacked inside...that doesn't seem particularly efficient to me, but maybe its true? Lastly, I've seen that in Asian culture, it is insulting to family and guests to have locked rooms or closets, so they usually only have one locked piece of furniture in their homes (Coffer = "treasure"?), and since my cabinet has these weird "locks", it was possibly a valuables chest? Since the wood on my cabinet is very thin, any security of this cabinet would be totally symbolic. So, in summary, I don't know anything more about it for sure. I don't know whether to focus on the quirks of the piece or to ignore them as obscure Asian traditions or perhaps the quirks are just cut-corner import construction?
    4. suburbantreasure, 11 years ago
      Wow, after years of searching the internet, I woke up at 3am after eating spicy pizza and poked around online and actually found some information! This is a Tansu cabinet, probably Korean, and probably a bride's trousseau cabinet. the compartments seem to indicate linen storage, but the small drawers have more general usage. The rice paper lining seems to indicate Korea, although the "temple roof" shaped top seems Japanese. I would stick with my original assumption that it is from around 1910, and also that it might be a cheaper import as it is very lightweight and not as high a quality as some examples that I have seen. Values seem to vary, but I'd assume $350 as a minimum and maybe $600 maximum? wikipedia has a lot of information for "tansu".
    5. ATTWOOD ATTWOOD, 11 years ago
      I guess price would differ too depending on what part of the world you are in-.I think this piece could bring a lot more here in Australia-It is really nice
    6. browntrout browntrout, 7 years ago
      This is a beautiful Korean cabinet. I would need to see better images to date it better, but I suspect it is dated to between 1950 - 1980. Tansu is a Japanese term meaning chest, and does not technically apply to Korean chests.

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