PRESENTING A BEAUTIFUL Early 20C The Queen Playing with Sword Camphor Dowry Chest.

Made in Hong Kong circa 1920 by the You On & Co. furniture makers of Hong Kong for the China Gift Chest Co of Honolulu.

Catalog Number 1278 and Titled; Chest: The Queen Playing with Sword.

This was a custom made chest and made to order.

The carving on the chest is simply SCRUMCIOUS !

It is heavily carved on all sides with various Chinese scenes but the main scene is on the top of the lid. The detail is outstanding … right down to the dragons engraved on the brass latch to the front.

You will see many ‘similar’ chests to this but none this good !

In superb condition with only normal wear through age. When you open the chest the smell of the camphor is still strong and aromatic.

The wooden furniture industry in Hong Kong can be traced back to the late 19th century with You On Company (耀安), which was founded in Hong Kong in 1897 by the Wan family. One of the family members, Wan King-shan (温镜山) was the founding supervisor of HKFCMA and according to Matthew Turner (author of “Made in Hong Kong” and historian of HK industrial design), another family member Wan Sze-yau was a pioneer in adapting Chinese furniture to American taste in order to facilitate exports to the United States and “ideas for new pieces seem to have come directly from American servicemen, who would suggest them to Wan himself”.

In suiting the taste of foreigners, the Wan family developed remarkably eclectic products, such as the “altar cocktail bar”,”traditional Chinese telephone table” and the “praying scholar among Chinese clouds with electric light bulb on its head.” You On had stores at 72 Canton Road in Kowloon and Queen’s Road on Hong Kong island and a factory in the New Territories and before the War it was the largest wooden furniture maker in Southern China with over 500 workers.


Early 20C The Queen Playing with Sword Camphor Dowry Chest.

Provenance: From a Private Dallas Estate.

Condition: Very Good.

Dimensions: 20 inches tall, 37.5 inches wide and 17.5 inches deep

PRICE NOW: $1,400

Categories: AsianChinese