An unusual inlaid zitan ‘cabinet’ panel

Qing dynasty, Kangxi period, dated to 1697, China

198cm x 147cm, 77.95inches x 68.5inches

Of rectangular form raised on hoofed feet comprising of two panels mounted as double door is creating a trompe l'oeil effect of an actual cabinet, enclosed by a wide inlaid border, the panels elaborately inlaid with seal script in gilt bronze with verses from the Daobaozhen ('Large Treasure Verse') and a dated inscription corresponding to 1697, each panel enclosed by a finely carved border of scrolling floral and leafy motifs with beaded edges, all mounted within a frame with a bevelled edge, enclosed by a wide border finely inlaid in precious stones with birds in flight or perched, butterflies and flowering branches of hibiscus, prunus, magnolia, bamboo, crab, apple and chrysanthemum, further enclosed with a richly carved beaded border with floral scrolls matching the border of the double doors.

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