Last month I wrote about the first of what I call “Uncommon Antiques” – my horn-footed stool. This month I’d like to add this little cupboard to the list. I bought it at an auction about 15 years ago primarily because it was unlike anything I had ever seen in a cupboard. I paid $200 for the piece and it continues to appeal to me.
The cupboard stands about 42 inches in height and is made of wood and bamboo. Inside are four shelves for storage. Now that in itself does not make it unusual but what does is the front door. It’s made of glass that has an image of a man in full Elizabethan costume framed by a geometric green and tan coloured border. This lithographic image has been adhered to the glass.
Here’s a closer look of the image. This piece was made circa 1880’s and has all the hallmarks of a “poor man’s” version of furniture from the Aesthetic period. It shows the style’s love affair with the late Medieval period, and anything Japanese. Stylized, rather than realistic flowers are a trademark of the look, as is bamboo – faux or real.
Much of the furniture in this style is covered with black lacquer – another Japanese detail. You can see that the top of the cupboard is covered with stylized flowers. The sides of the cupboard feature textured wallpaper that has been lightly gilt and faux-painted. Truly an interesting, if not expensive, piece in my collection.