Artabelle Furniture

Restoration of a 19 Century japanese Tansu Cabinet

Restoration of a 19 Century japanese Tansu Cabinet

A delightful Japanese Tansu cabinet from the Meiji dynasty circa 1880-1900. Tansu (箪笥) are traditional Japanese mobile storage cabinets. The original hinges and metalwork are as delicate as bird wings. Metals were treated like semi-precious materials due to scarcity and crafted with great skill and reverence for their properties. As Japan opened trade links with Europe and America, Japanese craftsmen and women made traditional craft items for export to these new markets.

This particular example features a riot of extremely intricate marquetry based on geometric forms. It had lost some of its marquetry and details, in addition, it was heavily discoloured with damage to the hinges and lock mechanism. After careful cleaning, repairs and refinishing, we brought it back to its former glory.



Read more on Japanese Tansu cabinets here: