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East meets West

Mid-18th Anglo-Chinese huanghuali two-section bureau cabinet, probably made for an East India Company merchant realised £13,500 in our Fine Art & Interiors auction in Colwyn Bay.

These were commissioned by wealthy British merchants from local Chinese craftsmen, following the latest Chippendale fashions.

Using solid padouk or expensive huanghuali wood (a type of rosewood), and finished with sturdy paktong handles (a uniquely Chinese alloy of nickel, zinc and copper) these cabinets were insect resistant, and could be easily loaded on and off tea clippers, the short cabinet top allowing for the low cabin ceilings.

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