Trunk with Attributes of a Scholar

Mid 1800s
Northern Elm
Inner Mongolia
27” h. 41” w. 25¾” d.
Item #9207

This trunk is very well-made with wooden nails and dovetailing. It has a recessed waist with a floral-head paintings between short struts. It is supported by a solid attached base.

This trunk has a central medallion in front, with painting depicting the attributes of the scholar: Books, calligraphy and picture scrolls, stringed musical instrument resembling a zither, chessboard, brush holder, writing brush, inkstick and a curved wish-granting wand, and a flower urn. All these symbolize the Accomplishments of the Scholar. The border surrounding this medallion showing chrysanthemum flower heads, bordered by clusters of flowers.

This is a big heavy trunk to hold a family’s clothing. To make it easy to move around, a metal handle is installed in the middle of the end panels. A big round brass latch secures the trunk. Since the top is one flat expanse, it is useful to use it to hold reading material, flower arrangement, or any favorite collectibles, and place it beside, sofa-side, or in front as a coffee table.