A Hardwood cabinet with 4 doors and 2 drawers, the upper doors finely carved with squirrels or dormice in the vines, the drawers carved with qilins and a pheasant in a rocky landscape, the two lower doors carved with scenes with figures in gardens and palaces. Original fittings in gilt bronze shaped as flower pots. Origin: China. Period: Kangxi (1662-1722), 18th century.
Bunches of grapes are called “putao” in Chinese, but “Tao” is also the word for peaches, which symbolize longevity. Squirrels are called "songshu", the syllable "song" also designating the pine, another symbol of longevity. In addition, the vines with their many clusters are reminiscent of a Chinese family tree.
This very auspicious decoration can be found on blue and white or wucai 5 colors polychrome vases and jars made at the end of the Transition period between the Ming and the Qing dynasties and at the beginning of the reign of Kangxi (1662-1722), but it is very rare to find it on an important piece of furniture from the same period such as the present cabinet.