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Is my chest authentic?

Posted By: TimG
Posted Date: Mar 05, 2019 (10:38 PM)

That depends on what you mean by 'authentic'.
The chest is constructed according to the traditional Chinese design for a seal chest, so it is authentic, but that does not mean it is old.
Your photos appear to be taken with flash, so difficult to judge the wood quality, but the grain and color is nice and appears to be a type of rosewood, but I'm not able to say if it is the more desirable huanghuali.
I looked quickly at about a dozen examples sold by Christies.... your wood grain is quite straight compared to their examples of huanghuali chests - since these cabinets were small and intended for scholars, I believe the best wood was always selected in early examples.
Also, handles on early examples were rounded (like a ruyi cloud shape) while yours are geometric / Greek key shaped.
The wood and variation in hardware suggests to me that your piece is no earlier than 19th c, and quite possibly a finely made 20th c example.
Let's see if anyone else can find a similar example in a well curated collection that offers insight in its age.


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